After serving a three-match ban initially due to his infamous ‘quenelle’ gesture while playing for English Premier League club West Bromwich Albion, Nicolas Anelka made instant impact for Mumbai City FC in the inaugural Indian Super League but couldn’t sustain it after suffering an injury.
Anelka scored just two goals in seven games. This time the former French striker is back with a dual role of player cum manager to uplift the performance of the Ranbir Kapoor co-owned team, which had an ordinary last season, finishing second from the bottom.
Having played for top teams like Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, Anelka will look to cash on his rich experience to succeed former Mumbai City FC manager Peter Reid.
“I am happy to be back. We have a bigger and better squad this season. Last season, we had a good team but were a little bit unlucky — like injuries (to key players like him, Syed Rahim Nabi, Andre Moritz and Fredrik Ljunberg). This time the players’ desire is to do better and my personal desire is to reach, at the minimum, the semis,” said Anelka.
“It’s not a usual job to be player-manager, but I will try my best as a player first. I need to understand what is happening on the pitch and outside as well. I know the players from last year,” he added.
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