The Foreign drafts which were supposed to be a pivotal event in the inaugural Indian Super League season, ended with much pomp and show-bizz. The Eight Franchisees flexed their money spending capacity and signed some of the best players available around town. The Hard Tackle takes a look at the eight franchisees and their key signings.

Indian Legend , Baichung Bhutia in a serene mood

Indian Legend , Baichung Bhutia in a serene mood

FC Pune City:

The Pune franchisee set the ball rolling by signing Emanuele Belardi. Bruno Cirillo, Ivan Bolado Palacios, Saidou Mady Panandetiguiri, Omar Andres Rodriguez Martinez, Andres Felipe Gonzalez Ramirez and Park Kwang-Il, composed the rest of the Pune outfit.

Cirillo battling with Antonio Cassano

Cirillo battling with Antonio Cassano

Key Signing : Bruno Cirillo

Bruno Cirillo started his career with Reggina as a Center Back and enjoyed regular first team football after moving to Serie C2 side, Tricase Calcio . His performances with Tricase wherein he scored 2 times in 32appearences and was responsible as the holding pillar of defense in the Tricase back four, caught the eye of Inter Milan scouts. After joining Inter Milan, he appeared for the club just 24times in his sole season before moving to US Lecce. Since then Cirillo has enjoyed football overseas in Greece with AEK Athens and PAOK FC , in France with FC Metz and in Spain with Levante. In a career spreading over 20years divided between clubs based in Italy, Spain, France and Greece, Cirillo has been one of the prominent leading figures for the clubs he played. It is clear the Cirillio will be the centrifugal point of the Pune defense

Delhi Dynamos:

The Delhi based franchisee signed Mads Junker, Morten Skoubo, Bruno Herrero Arias, Gustavo Marmentini dos Santos, Marek Cech, Pavel Elias and Henrique Dinis Oliveira Dias, for their upcoming season.

Key Signing : Mads Junker

Mad Junker has been one of the most prolific and experienced strikers of Danish Football. Belting a massive 391 appearances in career spread over eight teams including the likes of Vitesse and FC Norjaeslland , and almost 15 years, also finding the goal in almost a 150 occasions. In a course of a season, a striker capable to deliver 10-15 goals is a must for any championship winning team. With Junker, the Delhi Dynamos have done just that and cemented their position to be one of the challengers in the Indian Super League.

Team Goa:

Still un-named the Goa based franchisee signed Miroslav Slepicka, Jan Seda, Bruno Filipe Tavares Pinheiro, Youness Bengelloun, Miguel Bruno Pereira Herlein, Gregory Arnolin and Edgar Carvalho Figueira Marcelino.

Key Signing : Youness Bengelloun

Born in Paris, Youness Bengelloun has played in France, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria for Paris Saint-Germain B, Amiens, Neuchâtel Xamax, Alavés, Raon-l’Étape, Istres, Panserraikos, Olympiakos Nicosia, Lokomotiv Plovdiv, CSKA Sofia and Mulhouse. In his Illustrious 13year career, Bengelloun has tasted football in almost every European country. Certainly the inclusion of Youness will provide the much needed defenisve solidity for the Goa based club.

Team Chennai:

The Newly found franchisee, which replaced the Bengaluru Titans, started their bandwagon with Bernard Mendy. Cristian Hidalgo Gonzalez, Gennaro Bracigliano, Bojan Djordjic, Bruno Augusto Pelissari de Lima, Jairo Andrez Suarez Carvajal and Eduardo Silva Lerma completed the Chennai based club.

Bojan has also featured for Manchester United

Bojan has also featured for Manchester United

Key Signing : Bojan Djordjic

Bojan Djordjic is a Swedish Footballer, who can operate as an attacking midfielder and also as a left winger. Bojan, has one of the most illustrious careers winning some of the most crucial trophies domestically. He has won, First League of Serbia and Montenegro, Serbia and Montenegro Cup, Allsvenskan, Svenska Cupen, Supercupen, Nemzeti Bajnokság I and the Manchester United Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year in 1999–2000. A Premier League veteran, Bojan will surely light up the stadiums with his long strides, skills and acceleration.

NorthEast United FC:

The John Abraham co-owned franchisee signed Isaac Chansa, Cornell Glen, Massamba Lô Sambou, Do Dong-Hyun, Guilherme Felipe De Castro, Tomas Josl and Luis Alfredo Yanes Padilla.

Key Signing : Issac Chansa

A Africa Cup of Nations winner, Issac Chansa was born in the town of Kitwe, Zambia. He began his career with native club side Chambishi. His stints and performances with Chambishi earned him a move to South African giants Orlando Pirates. Operating as a Midfielder, Issac Chansa is known for his ability to work his socks off. A hard worker off the ball, Chansa also has an eye for goal and has found the net 47 times in his career. A decent signing nonethless, Issac Chansa can be the link to hold the Midfield and attack together.

Mumbai City FC:

The Ranbir Kapoor co-owned franchisee signed Diego Fernando Nadaya, Jan Stohanzl, Francisco Javier Fernandez Luque, Pavel Cmovs, Johann Letzelter, Andre Matos Dias Pereira and Ilias Pollalis.

Key Signing : Johan Letzelter

A French Professional football, Johan Letzelter started his playing career for Moulnis. In 2009, after decent performances for Calais, Johan moved to Chamois wherein he became the centrifugal man in the defense, appearing 136 times over the course of 5years. Johan Letzelter is known for his fantastic ariel skills. Still at 29, Johan has a lot to offer for his newly found Mumbai based club side.

Kerala Blasters FC:

The Sachin Tendulkar co-owned side, kick the ball with the signing of Michael Chopra. Ian Hume, Víctor Herrero Forcada, Erwin Spitzner, Pedro Adriano Veloso Gusmao, Cedric Hengbart and Raphael Romey completed the rest of the squad .

Key Signing : Michael Chopra

Chopra applying his trade for Blackpool

Chopra applying his trade for Blackpool

A product of the Newcastle United Youth system, Michael Chopra he has also played for Sunderland, Cardiff City and Ipswich Town, and has spent loan spells at Watford, Nottingham Forest and Barnsley in his career. He has represented England at the Under-15, Under-16, Under-17, Under-18, Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 levels. In 2006, Chopra made news for scoring what was then the fastest goal by a substitute in Premier League history, scoring after being on the pitch for 15 seconds. With an Indian father, he was also the first player of Indian parentage to play and score in the Premier League. Finishing as the top scorer of the Championship in 2006-07 season, Chopra has also been a part of the PFA Championship Team of the year, twice in 2006-07 and in 2009-10. With an amazing goal scoring tally of 105 goals in 310 appearances, Chopra is set to be one the deadliest strikers in the ISL and prove his worth to the Kerala based franchisee.

Atletico de Kolkata:

The Franchisee having tied up with Atletico Madrid signed Borja Fernandez, Jofre Mateu Gonzalez, Josemi, Arnal Llibert Conde Carbo, Sylvain Monsoreau, Jakub Podany and Apoula Edma Edel Bete.

Key Signing : Sylvian Monserau

Sylvain Monsoreau is a French footballer, who operates as a center-half. He started his career with FC Sochaux-Montbéliard playing 110 games and scoring 4 goals. He also scored a goal for Sochaux in his 6 UEFA Cup matches in the 2003/04 season. He joined Olympique Lyonnais in the summer of 2005, playing 19 league games and 2 in the UEFA Champions League. In 2006, he joined Monaco where he has played 630 minutes in 7 games. Monsoreau, is bound to bring in defensive stability and tactical awarness for the Atletico de Kolkata side.

The Foreign Drafts finished with razzmatazz and showbiz . The one day event came to a close with almost all of the eight franchisees signing their favored host of players. Scheduled to kick-off on 12th October, the Indian Super League is in its pinnacle to emerge as one of the best sporting events in the country’s history.