Pune is quickly gaining a reputation as the breeding ground for emerging talent in Indian football. The city has recently seen the establishment of new footballing academies, a new I-League corporate team as well as tie-ups with renowned international clubs. This trend is set to continue in the Hero Indian Super League, where Wadhawan Group-owned FC Pune City have a partnership with Italian giants ACF Fiorentina.
Pune have also brought in experienced Italian manager Franco Colomba to instil this footballing philosophy.
FC Pune City’s marquee player is David Trezeguet, one of two World Cup-winners to be participating in the Hero ISL. The former Juventus and France striker will bring years of experience and attacking pedigree to the side. He and the key Italian signings and Indian talents will be bringing exciting football to the Balewadi Stadium.
Bollywood star Salman Khan, who has a keen interest on sports co-owns the Pune franchise in the Indian Super League (ISL) along with Wadhawan Group, which has diverse business interests. The franchise has also collaborated with Italian club ACF Fiorentina, who owns a 15% stake in the franchise
Goalkeepers: Arindam Bhattacharya ,Emanuele Belardi and Lalit Thapa.
The Club signed 2 Churchil Brothers Goalkeeper’s Arindam Bhattacharya and Lalit Thapa , Arindam who is the 3rd choice India National Team Goalkeeper was a regular at Churchil and has also played for Kolkata GiantsMohun Bagan , he has 5 national caps to his name . Lalit also represented Churchil and signs as Churchill was suspended from the I-League , Lalit is of Nepalese descent and is eligible to play for both Nepal and India, however he has not made any national team appearances. The club roped in former Juventus and Napoli Goalkeeper Emanuele Belardi ,from the foreign players draft. The Italian has played for a host of Seria –A clubs , like Napoli, Juventus and comes to Atletico De Kolkata having played the 2013-14 season with Pescara a club playing in Serie-B.The Italian will bring with him a lot of experience and will definitely look forward to help his Indian counterparts.
Defenders : Andres Ramirez ,Anupam Sarkar , Ashutosh Mehta , Bruni Cirillo ,Daniele Magliocchetti, Deepak Devrani ,Dharmaraj Ravanan ,Pritam Kotal and Saidou Panandetiuiri.
The club roped in Colombian defender Andrés Felipe González Ramírez , the 30 year old is known for being a solid defender with intelligent marking ability.The club also signed Anupam Sarkar , the Prayag defender has played for East Bengal and is on loan from Prayag.The club has also signed Italian Centre Back’s Bruno “Brunillo” Cirillo and Daniele Maglioccheti. Bruno comes to India having represented Italy in the 2000 Olympics and has played for clubs like AEK Athens , Lecce , PAOK ,etc and will come to India having played for AEK Athens in the 2012-13 season. He will certainly be fan favourite because of the passion he has and he has been a fan favourite in every club he has played till now .Pune’s other Italian defender Daniele, is AS Roma product and has won the Scudetto Primavera with AS Roma, however he did not make any first team appearances for their first team and has since then played for the likes of Hellas Verona, Cagliari and Triestina. Pune also signed former Pailan Arrows defenders Deepak Devrani and Pritam Kotal, Deepak joins Pune City FC from Sporting Goa meanwhile Pritam has signed for hometown club Mohun Bagan , the right back will be hoping that the Indian Super League can push his case for a berth in the Ntional team squad.The club have also got Saïdou Madi Panandétiguiri within their ranks , the centre back has played for the likes of Bordeaux reserve team and has played in the French Ligue -2 , Belgian pro-league , South African League and will hopefully add some character and leadership to the defence line.
Midfielder : Davide Colomba ,Park Kwang –II , Israil Gurung , Lenny Rodrigues, Manish Maithani , Mehrajuddin Wadoo , Omar Martinez , Pratik Shinde ,Tapan Maity and Konstantinos Katsouranis .
The club have signed Churchil Brothers Player Lenny Rodrigues , Lenny who is a regular both in Club and Country will be hoping to duplicate his Churchil form for the Pune outfit. The club also signed Davide Colomba , Davide has played in Serie-A and Serie-B and is the son of Pune FC coach Franco Colomba.The club also signed J-League division 2 player Park Kwang il , the south Korean has played for his nations youth teams but is yet to make a senior appearance.The club have signed India national Manish Maithani , Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Tapan Maity.The club have also signed wonderkid Pratik Shinde , the youngster who has already caught the eyes of foreign coaches and teams is set to make his name in Indian Football with the India Super League.
Pune City FC announced its biggest signing apart from the Marquee player , when they signed Euro-2004 winner Konstantinous Kataouranis,The Greek has made 114 appearances for the Greek national team and was the stand in captain for Greece in the 2014 Fifa World Cup. He has played for a host of European clubs having played for AEK Athens , PAOK, SL Benfica , Panathinaikos , etc .The Greek can also play as a defender and will be hopefully looking forward to play in India.
Forwards: Ivan Palacios ,Joaquim Abranches , Macpherlin Omagbemi and David Trezeguet.
Pune City brought in 4 strikers , they brought in Ivan Palacios who has played in the Spanish League and the Bulgurian Football League with Racing Santander and CSKA SOFIA. The club then signed India International Joaquim Abranches , the East Bengal striker will look forward to build up a formidable attcking partnership his East Bengal strike partner Dudu Omagbemi .The club have signed David Trezeguet as their Marquee signing , the former Juventus and France legend comes to India having won the League title in France and Italy and has also won the Fifa World Cup-1998 and Euro -2000.He has been the Serie-A’s Top scorer and will compete with his former Juventus Teammate Del Piero for the top scorer title in the Indian Super League .
The Franchise brought in former Bologna player Franco Colomba as their coach , Colomba arrives in India having coached the likes of Reggina ,Napoli , Livorno , Bologna , Parma ,etc .Colomba has a wealth of experience as a coach and will be looking forward to lead Pune City FC to a high finish in the Indian Super League. Colomba is a manager who likes his team to absorb the pressure soak it up and then play Counter Attacking Football. Colomba generally likes his team to shape up in a 4-3-1-2 formation.
Assistant Manager :Giovanni Mei.
Giovanni is also a former Bologna Player and has been a teammate of Franco Colomba at Bologna and has also been his assistant at Bologna. The pair reunite after their Bologna days and will hope to achieve a better result than the one they created at Bologna , where they narrowly avoided relegation .
Based in Pune ,Pune City Fc will use the Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, Pune to host their Home matches. The 22,000 capacity stadium is also the home of Pune FC in the I-League .
Franco Colomba is known to deploy a 4-3-1-2 formation , with 3 central midfielders playing in the middle of the park ad the wingbacks going high up the pitch to aid the attackers. With good depth in their squad and with a mixture of youth and experience Pune City Fc will be a team to look out for in the Hero Indian Super League.
Probable Finish : 2nd