The Indian Super League is starting from tomorrow and promises to be a star studded affair with the likes of Star marquee players like Luis Garcia, Alessandro Del Piero, David Trezeguet and Freddie Ljungberg all featuring, The Hard Tackle takes a look at 5 Non Marquee signings who can very well prove to be influential in the pitch for their respective teams.
Konstantinos “Kostas” Katsouranis (FC Pune City)
Aged 35, the former Panathinaikos and SL Benfica midfielder was the stand in captain of the Greek national Team in the 2014 World Cup and has won the UEFA Euro 2004.With exceptional leadership qualities he is quite an influence on the pitch. A fine passer of the ball and strong in the air, he has good defensive abilities, even slotting in at centre back sometimes.
He began his career at his home town, Patras based club Panachaiki. He left the club after six successful seasons to join AEK Athens, where he had impressive seasons, even leading the club to UEFA Champions League in the 2005-06 Season before moving to SL Benfica in 2006. He played some of his Finest football there, managing to win ‘Benfica Player of the year’ award in 2009. He left the Portuguese outfit in 2009, returning to Greece, first joining Panathinaikos in 2009 and then PAOK in 2012.
With vast experience and knowledge of the game Kostas could turn out to be a big asset for the Trezeguet led Pune side, influencing the game from the midfield and even scoring given his box to box playing mentality. He is definitely someone to watch out for.
Mads Junker ( Delhi Dynamos)
Danish striker Mads Junker can be a huge threat in front of goal for the Delhi outfit given his goal scoring record. The 33 year old recently scored four for the Dynamos in a recent friendly against a local club. He has scored 149 times in his Club career which includes clubs like Brondby, Nordsjaelland, Vitesse and Roda JC. Junker even has an international goal to his name scoring for Denmark against Germany in a 2-2 friendly match in 2010. He made his international debut for the Danes in 2006 when he came on replacing Nicklas Bendtner in the 67th minute in a friendly against Poland. Junker can prove to be an attacking threat for the Dynamos supporting the likes of Del Piero or playing as a lone Striker.
Andre Moritz ( Mumbai City FC)
Brazilian attacking midfielder Andre Moritz is the newest entrant to the ISL, joining on the 10th of October. The 28 year old began his senior career with Internacional SC, later joining Fluminese.He has played in the Turkish League with clubs Kasımpaşa and Kayserispor before signing for the then Championship Side Crystal Palace under manager Ian Holloway in 2012. He got plaudits for the manager after a goal scoring streak at the beginning of his Palace career. He signed for Bolton Wanderers the next year on a one year contact, scoring his first in the club’s 3-1 victory over Millwall.
The Brazil born midfielder has a good number of goals to his name and is expected to man the left flank for Mumbai along with Rahim Nabi, increasing the attacking ability of the team which already has the likes of French striker Nicolas Anelka. With his knack of scoring goals he can turn out to be an important player.
Manuel Freidrich ( Mumbai City FC)
The former Mainz 05, Werder Bremen, Leverkeusen and Borussia Dortmund defender will definitely be an important part of the defensive line of the Mumbai Club. The 35 year old is a stalwart in defense and even scores goals. He has a total of 16 goals to his name in the German Top Division. He began his career at Mainz 05, and has played in host of German clubs like Bremen, Leverkeusen and most recently Borussia Dortmun, playing for them in the Bundesliga and their 2013-14 UEFA Champions League campaign. He even scored for the Dortmund outfit in their 5-1 away demolition of his former club Werder Bremen.
Freidrich will be an important member of the Mumbai back line and will be important in rallying his teammates and keeping the defensive line sharp.
Dudu Obagemi ( FC Pune City )
A familiar name with Indian football fans, Dudu has experience playing in India for the likes of Sporting Clube De Goa, Dempo, Salgaocar and now East Bengal. He was this seasons Calcutta Football League top scorer, scoring 8 goals which were important in East Bengal winning the league. He now has been loaned to FC pune City for the inaugural ISL season.
Dudu started his career in India in 2001 with Sporting Clube De Goa ibecoming the then Indian Football League’s top scorer. He then had loan stints at Dempo, Salgaocar and Penang before joining Polish side Wisla Krakow with whom he won the Polish Ekstraklasa and even played in the Champions League.He then moved to 3 time Hungarian Champions
Debreceni VSC with whom he won the Hungarian League. After short stints in Finland, he returned to India with East Bengal FC this year. The 29 year old Nigerian was in tremendous form his year with KEB and the Pune fans will hope he can replicate it for them. He could be a prolific strike force alongside David Trezeguet if he continues his goal scoring streak.
Written by Guest Author Rohit Roy