Robbie Keane is heading back where it all began for the Irish striker, hopeful of aiding a return to the Premier League for his Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Keane has two goals in four matches for Atlético de Kolkata in the Indian Super League, but Wolverhampton reporter Tim Nash says they will give him an early release.
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The 37-year-old striker scored 29 goals in 87 games for Wolves from 1997-99 before embarking on a glistening career which took him to Tottenham, Liverpool, Celtic, West Ham, and the LA Galaxy.
Wolves have a 12-point lead on Derby County and are 14 points ahead of third- and fourth-placed Cardiff City and Bristol City in the Football League Championship.
Indian Super League club Delhi Dynamos has a big name manager who wants to bring an even bigger name to Delhi.
Thirty-nine year old Gianluca Zambrotta moved to India after two seasons running Swiss club Chiasso.
He has Delhi off to a 1-1 start this year, leading a team whose most recognizable player in Florent Malouda. That would change if Zambrotta convinces his former Juventus and AC Milan teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic to give India a try.
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While few expect Zlatan to go one-and-done with Manchester United, the Big Swede has talked about finishing his career outside Europe. And if the money is there in India, maybe Zambrotta can help.
Zambrotta in an exclusive interview to Indian Express said ‘Ibra’ will not mind playing in India after his retirement from European football.
“Given his fan following in India, I think Zlatan would want to come and end his career here. On my end, I will definitely try and convince him to play for Delhi Dynamos,” Zambrotta said.
It all seems kinda crazy, but we’re sure reading “David Beckham is going to take his career to the United States” once seemed just as nuts. Nothing impending, but perhaps bookmark this one.
Entering its second year of existence, the Indian Super League just won’t stop bringing in the big names.
The Delhi Dynamos announced today that the legendary Roberto Carlos will be taking over the reigns as manager, joining fellow Brazilian hero Zico, who serves as manager of FC Goa.
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Carlos is considered one of the best outside backs of all-time, making more than 500 appearances for Real Madrid where he won four La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies.
He won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil and is the second-most capped player in the nation’s history with 125 appearances.
Now 42, Carlos is coming off of stints managing Sivasspor and Akhisar Belediyespor in the Turkish Super Lig.
After scoring two goals in seven appearances for Mumbai City FC last season, Nicolas Anelka has been named manager of the Indian club.
Anelka will serve as a player/manager, as the club heads into the second-ever season of the Indian Super League.
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The French striker was the Premier League’s top scorer for the 2008-09 season with Chelsea, and has played for top clubs throughout Europe including Manchester City, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.
However, Anelka’s goalscoring has often been overshadowed by his off the field issues, being sent home from the French team during the 2010 World Cup and earning a suspension for making an inappropriate gesture after scoring a goal for West Brom. He then terminated his contract with the Baggies via Twitter, without notifying the club.
Now in India, Anelka will try his hand in management, as Mumbai City FC announced his appointment today on social media.
Despite the young status of the Indian Super League, the eight-club league boasts some pretty impressive managers.
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Former Italian international Marco Materazzi serves as player/manager for Chennaiyin FC, while former Crystal Palace boss Peter Taylor is in charge for the Kerala Blasters. Brazilian legend Zico manages FC Goa, and David Platt, who scored 27 times for England, coaches FC Pune City.
The Indian Super League’s first season came to a close on Saturday with Atletico de Kolkata beating Kerala Blasters 1-0 on a 94th minute goal.
Former Atletico Madrid and Liverpool striker Luis Garcia is among Atletico de Kolkata’s biggest names, but perhaps it was fitting that an Indian player, Mohammed Rafique, netted the first ever ISL-winning goal in Mumbai.
Kerala was led by its player-coach, former England keeper David James, who conceded the late goal and sent Kolkata into the history books as the first league champions.
James had recently criticized the league for a lack of infrastructure, but praised it potential. Kolkata is part-owned by Atletico Madrid.
Almost 37,000 people attended the final in Mumbai. From the BBC:
In front of a 36,484 crowd at the D.Y. Patil Stadium near Mumbai, India midfielder Rafique won the game in injury time when he rose to send a near-post header low into the corner past James.
The final ended a 10-week tournament which began in October with eight franchise teams and was designed to help promote football in India.
The history-making match paves the way for Season No. 2.