Michael Chopra signs up for Indian Super League

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 16, 2014, 18:15 PM IST

Mumbai: Former Newcastle United striker Michael Chopra, an Indian-origin English footballer, today confirmed his participation in the inaugural season of Hero Indian Super League.

Chopra said: "I`m delighted to be part of the new Indian Super League. It`s an exciting time for Indian football and an honour for me to be involved in this new era.

The 30-year-old Chopra has had vast footballing experience. He made his UEFA Champions League debut in December 2002, as a substitute against Barcelona at the Camp Nou, and also played against Bayer Leverkusen.

In 2006, Chopra made headlines after scoring what was then the fastest goal by a substitute in Premier League history, finding the target after being on the pitch for 15 seconds.

Chopra, who has an Indian father, was the first player of Indian parentage to play and score in the English Premier League.

A product of the Newcastle United youth system, Chopra has played for England at all age category competitions starting with U-16.

He also represented England at 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship.

During his long career, Chopra has played for Sunderland, Cardiff City, Ipswich Town, Blackpool and has spent loan spells at Watford Nottingham Forest and Barnsley.

Chopra has made over 300 club appearances at senior level and scored 100 plus goals in his impressive playing career.

Chopra, in year 2010 had expressed his interest to play for the Indian national team. The ISL provides an excellent opportunity to the striker to show his skills, for the first time, on Indian soil.

Andy Knee, VP Business Development - Football at IMG said, "Michael`s excellent profile and achievements are well known to Indian football fans, and his interest in football in India, as well as his desire to play for the Indian National Team, is well-documented.

"We`re thrilled that he`s signed to participate in the Hero Indian Super League, and look forward to seeing him in action for the very first time on Indian soil."

Chopra will feature in the `central international player pool`, to be held here on August 21.