Germany`s Manuel Friedrich to power Mumbai Franchise in ISL

Mumbai: Striving to build a formidable outfit with world-class football players on board, the Mumbai Franchise of the Indian Super League (ISL) on Friday announced the signing of Germany`s Manuel Friedrich for the inaugural season of the upcoming league.

Friedrich comes to the Mumbai Franchise with over 15 years of professional experience as a top quality centre back, packed with 413 appearances at various levels of football.

Friedrich has played international football for Germany and has been a critical part of famouse Bundesliga clubs Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, Werder Bremen and Mainz 05.

He will be the first recognisable German footballer to play in India and the only team member in the ISL to have played 2014 UEFA Champions League football.

Known to be a strong defender and acknowledged for his aerial duels, the 34-year-old will be the backbone of the Mumbai squad`s defense strategy. With his abilities, he will also be an asset to the team during set pieces due to his aerial skills.

Commenting on the acquisition, team owner Ranbir Kapoor said, "Manuel Friedrich is unquestionably a highly experienced fine international centre back and we are thrilled to have him on board. As a defense stalwart, he will be a critical asset to the team. To top it all, Manuel is passionate about football in Asia. We are delighted to have him amidst us and welcome him onboard."

On joining the team, Manuel Friedrich said, "I am delighted to play for the Mumbai Franchise and be part of the exciting inaugural season of the Indian Super League. Playing in Asia has always been on my mind and I am thrilled to be part of the Mumbai team."

Apart from nine international appearances for his home country, Friedrich has represented clubs such as Borussia Dortmund, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Werder Bremen and FSV Mainz 05 during his career. Playing for Borussia Dortmund during the 2014 UEFA Champions League, Friedrich was part of the playing XI during their match against Real Madrid at their Signal Iduna Park.

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