New Delhi: Mumbai City FC on Thursday announced the signing of former Sweden and Arsenal mid-fielder Freddie Ljungberg as its marquee player for the inaugural season of the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL).
Ljungberg, a former Swedish captain and a midfielder, has been a critical part of football clubs such as Arsenal, West Ham United and Halmstads BK. Ljungberg was part of Arsenal's feared lineup in the early part of this millennium. For several seasons, he played a major role in the club including being a member of the unbeaten 49 game run for the team.
After joining the Mumbai City FC team, Ljungberg said, "Mumbai City FC presents a thrilling opportunity to play in India and I'm glad to be part of the team in the very first Indian Super League season. I look forward to contributing to the team's success."
In 2008, Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger placed Ljungberg 11th in Arsenal Gunners' Greatest 50 Players. For his home country of Sweden, Ljungberg has earned 75 caps scoring 14 times.
Speaking about the signing, team owner Ranbir Kapoor said, "Mumbai City FC is immensely proud to sign a player like Freddie Ljungberg today. As a former Sweden captain and Arsenal great, the world football fraternity understands what he is worth and I'm sure Mumbai's football fans will be delighted with his presence in the team.
"He will enrich us with his talent and experience and we look forward to seeing him making Mumbai proud in the coming season." Ljungberg was signed by Arsenal in 1998 for three million pounds, which at the time was the highest transfer fee ever for a Swedish player.
Ljungberg proved himself without difficulty and scored on his debut after coming on as a substitute against rivals Manchester United, the match ending 3-0. Some of Ljungberg's best form came in the second half of the 2001-02 season, when Arsenal won their second Premier League and FA Cup double. Ljungberg became a regular in Arsenal's starting lineup following the departure of Emmanuel Petit and Marc Overmars in the summer of 2000. For several seasons he played a major role for the club including being a member of the unbeaten 49 game run for Arsenal.
After his nine years at Arsenal FC, Ljungberg went on to play for West Ham United, Seattle Sounders FC, Chicago Fire, Celtic Glasgow and Shimizu S-Pulse.