FC Pune City name David Trezeguet as marquee player

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 21:17

Mumbai: Indian Super League franchise outfit FC Pune City have signed up former Juventus striker and France`s World Cup winner in 1998, David Trezeguet, as their marquee player for the upcoming first season of the IPL-style football league.

"David Trezeguet will be our marquee player. David is the third highest French goal scorer behind Thierry Henry and Michel Platini (34 goals in 71 appearances). He will be the team`s spearhead in the ISL and we expect him to lead us to the title," said team`s CEO Gaurav Modwel here today.

The 36-year-old French footballer of Argentine descent is currently playing for River Plate in the Argentine league and is expected to quit the league to play in ISL.

He scored 138 goals in 245 league appearances in Serie A for Juventus, including 14 in 25 matches on his debut season. He had helped the famous Italian club to win the league title in 2001-02 and qualify for the next season`s UEFA Champions League. He has scored more than 300 goals for clubs and his country.

The marquee players in ISL are reportedly being paid USD 7,50,000 (approximately Rs 4 crore).

"We have to keep the signing amount confidential due to the ISL rules," Modwel said. The amount is three times below what he currently commands, FC Pune City sources revealed.

The ISL franchise, which has tied up with the top Italian club Fiorentina for technical inputs, has already signed up two Italian players - goalkeeper Emanuele Belardi and defender Bruno Cirillo - for the first season along with well-known coach Franco Colomba.

The eight-team ISL is set to kick off in October. PTI DS SSR KRK AH FC Pune City name David Trezeguet as marquee player

Mumbai, Jul 30 (PTI) Indian Super League franchise outfit FC Pune City have signed up former Juventus striker and France`s World Cup winner in 1998, David Trezeguet, as their marquee player for the upcoming first season of the IPL-style football league.

"David Trezeguet will be our marquee player. David is the third highest French goal scorer behind Thierry Henry and Michel Platini (34 goals in 71 appearances). He will be the team`s spearhead in the ISL and we expect him to lead us to the title," said team`s CEO Gaurav Modwel here today.

The 36-year-old French footballer of Argentine descent is currently playing for River Plate in the Argentine league and is expected to quit the league to play in ISL.

He scored 138 goals in 245 league appearances in Serie A for Juventus, including 14 in 25 matches on his debut season. He had helped the famous Italian club to win the league title in 2001-02 and qualify for the next season`s UEFA Champions League. He has scored more than 300 goals for clubs and his country.

The marquee players in ISL are reportedly being paid USD 7,50,000 (approximately Rs 4 crore).

"We have to keep the signing amount confidential due to the ISL rules," Modwel said. The amount is three times below what he currently commands, FC Pune City sources revealed.

The ISL franchise, which has tied up with the top Italian club Fiorentina for technical inputs, has already signed up two Italian players - goalkeeper Emanuele Belardi and defender Bruno Cirillo - for the first season along with well-known coach Franco Colomba.

The eight-team ISL is set to kick off in October.

Modwel said Trezeguet would arrive in September and the Pune franchise, co-owned by Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Bollywood actor Salman Khan, would take the entire team to Florence for a week-long training session.

He added that the pitch at the Balewadi stadium, the franchise`s home ground in Pune, is under renovation and they plan to upgrade the stadium`s facilities.

"We are redoing the dressing rooms for international players," he said adding that the postponement of league has given them more time for getting their act together.

ACF Fiorentina CEO Sandro Mencucci said the Italian club wants to set up an academy in Pune.

"This is the first season and we have to run to build the team. We have to teach the young players. Soccer in US was developed around the youth. They are doing well and in the recent World Cup also they did well. In India, we can build a soccer movement like in USA. We want to build an academy in Pune," he said.

Mencucci said it was a good idea to have five Indian players in the playing XI of ISL as it would help to grow the football movement in India.

Leonardo Limatola, who is the head planning and control at ACF Fiorentina, said the standard of Indian players would improve by playing alongside international players.

"Playing with better players will allow the weaker to become stronger, especially in group sports like football. We have to let the players grow up with others. Some players could become better in a few sessions or a few weeks of training," he said.

"When a player comes out from the young sector, normally if you look at them playing all together, they don`t look like high quality footballers. But some of them, when they are put in with professionals, play as good as the other players in a few months.

"That is what we hope will happen in India. It (Indians playing with stronger players) will increase the speed, the way they pass the ball and maybe increase their self-confidence," he added.

Limatola further said they would like to improve the quality of Indian football.

"We have seen some Indian football in the past. The standard of the I-League was not close to the first division of most important European countries. We would like to develop the sport and its quality with the help of clubs that would like to invest in development.

"We think Indian football needs to be developed from the first stage. We have to start from the beginning. It is the only way to improve the standard of football. It is the only way to increase the quality or the performance of the players," he said.

Pune has already bought 14 domestic players through the draft held here last week. The footballers they have inducted are Lenny Rodrigues, Dharmaraj Ravanan, Ashutosh Mehta, Joaquim Abranches, Pritam Kotal, Manish Maithani, Israil Gurung, Deepak Devrani, Tapan Maity, Arindam Bhattacharya, Anupam Sarkar, Pratik Shinde, Lalit Thapa and Mehrajuddin Wadoo.

Each ISL franchise can also buy foreign players in the next round of draft set to be held next month to complete their team sheets.

Forty-nine international players would be available to be picked up at the ISL foreign players` draft.

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 21:17

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