Kolkata: Putting an end to speculation, defending champions Atletico de Kolkata on Wednesday unveiled 32-year-old Portuguese World Cupper Helder Postiga as their marquee player for the second edition of the Indian Super League football tournament.
There were reports that the Sourav Ganguly co-owned side had offered USD 1 million to Chelsea legend Didier Drogba as inaugural edition champions were also linked with Diego Forlan Claudio Pizarro, Roman Pavyluchenko and Tuncay Sanli.
However, the Antonio Habas-coached side finally settled for the Portuguese forward two days ahead of the July 31 deadline. Postiga will replace Luis Garcia, who was not named this year despite having an excellent season last, which was hampered by injuries.
"The presence of Postiga will definitely bolster the team and also allow the Indian and International players to learn a lot from him... I am sure Postiga's presence will make the city and ATK fans proud," head coach Habas said.
Welcoming Postiga on board, co-owner Sanjiv Goenka said: "Postiga's sheer ability to score goals as a striker made us take notice and seal the deal.
"We have finally selected our 26 players and look forward to an exhilarating season. We would also like to thank ATM for their support in recruiting the International players."
A Portuguese international since 2003, the two-time (2006, 2014) World Cupper had 71 appearances for the 'Selecao' scoring 27 goals, apart from representing in the European Championship of 2004, 2008 and 2012.
He was part of the famous treble winning squad of FC Porto under Jose Mourinho when they famously clinched the Primeira Liga, UEFA Cup, and the 'Tacca de Portugal Final' in 2002-03 as he played 185 games and 49 goals across 10 seasons.
In his first World Cup appearance in 2006 Germany, Postiga started against Mexico in a 2?1 win at group stage. In the quarterfinals, after replacing captain Luis Figo, he scored to eliminate England on penalties.
Postiga scored six goals in the qualification campaign for 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He started in the second game against the United States after injury to Hugo Almeida in the opener, but had to be replaced after 16 minutes due to injury as Portugal were eliminated at group stage.