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Indian Super League - ADK is the first champion!

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Abranches: I have sought Trezeguet’s guidance on finishing 454318_heroa.jpgJoaquim Abranches of FC Pune City The East Bengal striker hopes that training with the Frenchman will help him improve… Joaquim Abranches, who is on loan with FC Pune City from East Bengal for the inaugural edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) believes that he could have been a much better player had infrastructure in the country been anywhere near top class. “Indian infrastructure has to improve a lot. Now at Fiorentina, their facilities are good. Had we got the same facilities at a young age in India, our standard would have been much higher,” he told Goal. David Trezeguet has joined the FC Pune City squad in Florence and Abranches stated that he has been taking tips for the former Juventus striker. “I am learning a lot from David Trezeguet on how to control the ball and most importantly, how to finish a move. Being a class player that he is, I have to learn from him,” he said. The former Dempo SC player is pleased that he was selected by FC Pune City given that they have got a chance to train in Italy, as opposed to most franchisees who are undergoing their pre-season in India. “It’s a great feeling to play with FC Pune City. The team spirit is good and everyone is trying their best to train well to win the ISL.”

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Mehta: My aim is to get into the national team 385725_heroa.jpgAshutosh Mehta, FC Pune City The midfielder wants to make a mark in the coming season in order to win a berth in the national squad… Ashutosh Mehta acknowledged that he wasn’t too pleased to learn that he hasn’t been called into the national squad despite having had an impressive season with Mumbai FC. However, he stated that he shall channelize his energies positively in order to make the cut for the national team. “I am disappointed as I didn’t get a berth in the national team but this only motivates me to work harder for the coming season. I just wish the boys ‘All the best’ for the tournament,” he told Goal. “My main aim is to get into the national team. I’m sure and confident that in future, I will be in the national team,” he added. The 23-year old has plied his trade for Mumbai FC for three seasons and has come through their youth team. He spoke of his targets for the season and believes that a better infrastructure helps in a player’s development. “Signing for FC Pune City is new challenge for me since I have never played outside the city of Mumbai. My aim is to win the Indian Super League. All the players want to wish and I am lucky to be a part of this team. “The infrastructure you see in Florence is very good and it improves your game. The coaches and the fitness trainers are very professional. Youngsters like me would improve and will benefit Indian football at large.”

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Wadoo to play in midfield for FC Pune City 454325_heroa.jpgFC Pune City Launch The Kashmiri has been impressed with his new team-mate from France whose professionalism is rubbing on them… After having played as a centre-back for the last few seasons, Mehrajuddin Wadoo would once again be seen plying his trade in the middle of the park as a defensive midfielder for FC Pune City in the Indian Super League (ISL). “The coach has been playing me as a defensive midfielder. He prefers me playing in that position so hopefully, I will play there instead of being a centre-back,” Wadoo said. The former East Bengal player stated that David Trezeguet, FC Pune City’s marquee signing does have a haughty attitude towards the rest of his team-mates. “We had only seen Trezeguet on the television in the past. He is a top player. We first wanted to see him. He is a good human also. On and off the field, he is very professional. “If a player makes a mistake during the training, he is very supportive and encourages them to not dwell on it. He doesn’t have any starry attitude. He explains the importance of collective work when playing in a team. With individual quality, we cannot always win games. That was a nice gesture by him and keep himself available for the rest of the players,” Wadoo told Goal. He mentioned that training in Florence has been a learning experience for most of the Indian players. “We are undergoing good training under the supervision of an experienced coach in Franco Colomba. What’s important is that we are getting a chance to use the infrastructure of Fiorentina.”

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Anelka is in Florence: Pune is near, Fiorentina possible 391247_heroa.jpgNicolas Anelka EXCLUSIVE - Nicolas Anelka is in Florence, where he will conclude his move to Pune, the Indian team of Della Valle. In January, however, could go to Fiorentina. Daniele Magliocchetti, Emanuele Belardi, Bruno Cirillo, Davide Colomba and David Tregezuet in Pune, Maharashtra, the second most populous region of India. They will play for Pune FC for three months, ie the time for the new football project outlined in the country. Associated with Fiorentina, the team also welcomes short-Nicolas Anelka. The Frenchman will marry the short project of Pune and, if things go the right way, it could then return to the big European football. In January, in fact, there may be a welcome Fiorentina to: subject collected by Goal India in the exclusive purple, there is an ongoing encounter between Anelka, its representatives and the HH Fiorentina Hotel Florence. Anelka would reach so, over Trezeguet, Del Piero, Pires, Ljungberg, all champions of the 2000s who chose not to hang up his boots. Then, once the Indian league, the former striker of Arsenal and Juventus could go to enrich the pink purple at the disposal of Vincenzo Montella. Born in 1979, Anelka has left West Bromwich few months ago just two goals in twelve appearances and the controversy concerning the Quenelle, a gesture that has a meaningful issue, for some it is anti-Zionist, for others only against the system. Last January, Anelka was a step away from Lazio, before continuing his English adventure. Globetrotter, as noted also won one Scudetto with Juventus, the second era Conte, with just two games played and zero centers. After the Ligue 1, the Liga, the Turkish league and the Chinese, the Premier League and Serie A recall Indian and the possible second Italian adventure. You decide his future, in that of Florence.

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FC Pune City get 'Serie A' treatment FLORENCE: The FC Pune City are going through 'offshore' training camp for the Indian Super League (ISL), thanks to the franchisee's tie-up with Italian Serie 'A' club ACF Fiorentina. The 24-player contingent which includes 10 foreign players are here for a week-long crash course at the club's campus. Fiorentina are expected to provide technical expertise and specialised personnel to the visiting team. FC Pune City head coach Franco Colomba has got a closer look at the mix of India and foreign players for the first time. He has got down to business knowing well what lies ahead in the gruelling ISL schedule. "I am focusing on the fitness and endurance of the players. In the ISL we play a match every third day and it is important for the players to stay fit at all times," said Colomba. "When we go back to India, we plan to play a few practice matches with the Indian clubs." The first-team members of Fiorentina are away: some are on international duty playing friendlies or the Euro 2016 qualifiers and the rest are training in Lugano, which is on the border of Italy and Switzerland. It means chances of FC Pune City's practice match with the first team have been ruled out. But Fiorentina's junior counterparts have been worthy replacements to give the ISL team a competitive taste. Juri Bartoli, the team's physical trainer, said that the Indian players are robust and willing to learn. "They are strong and quite explosive. Their aerobic capacity is high and they also have good endurance," he said. FC Pune City's foreign players include Italian winger Davide Colomba, son of coach Franco, and experienced defender Bruno Cirillo. "Coming to India is a new experience. I am looking forward to it," said Cirillo. The 37-year-old stopper back has played for first division clubs in Italy, but always against Fiorentina. These include Reggina, Inter Milan, Lecce and AC Siena. Cirillo said: "The Indian players have got great will power. They are on the right track but lots of work remains to be done. The defenders are strong, and yes, I am impressed. I look forward to coming to India and playing against my colleague Del Piero (Delhi ISL team)."

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Trezeguet: Foreigners have joined the ISL to improve the Indian league 455659_heroa.jpgDavid Trezeguet (center) and Franco Colomba with kids from St. Vincent School The Frenchman believes that playing alongside top professional would improve the quality of the Indian players… EXCLUSIVE By Rahul Bali David Trezeguet shares his thoughts on his new club, FC Pune City, the Indian Super League (ISL) and more in an interview with Goal. Goal: For starters, why did you decide to come to India after having played in some of the best leagues in the world? I take this adventure in the ISL as a new experience as a whole, both the technical level and the human side. It’s very important to me, to discover a new culture, a new play and have a new adventure. Many other players joined the group and so, it’s going to be a very important experience for all of us. We hope this adventure will be useful to young Indian players, in order to make them aware of how a professional footballer trains and behaves. They’re very ambitious, they train a lot, and they put a lot of effort in it which is why it’s so important. That’s only the beginning of an adventure and we hope it will be successful in the first year. But I hope the Indian players keep on growing, because they have the ambitions and the means to make good things, and that’s what is most important. Goal: Having trained in Florence for over a week, what are your thoughts on FC Pune City as a group? My goal is to help grow these young players because of my experience. I speak on behalf of a the other Europeans who joined the ISL, to help in this cause. Then, of course, I wish we could win the league title. We’re training hard, we’re doing interesting things with regards to the physical and tactical side. We are building up a group with a clear target: to win the ISL. We’ll do our best to succeed. Goal: Compared to the star players you have played with in the past, what level do you think the Indians are at? The Indian players put in a lot of efforts and are eager to learn as much as possible which is very important. Now we’re working a lot on the physical aspect, but they’re learning enough on the tactical and technical aspect as well. Our coach (Franco Colomba) is working a lot on that. Right now we’re training a lot, that’s why we may be perhaps a little bit tired, both physically and mentally. But I see there’s a strong commitment and effort. Some players have the quality to keep on improving, and on those occasions to meet European and South American players is important for them, in order to mix our skills and their mentality. Let’s hope to make something nice here. Goal: Critics suggest that only those players who are past their prime are interested to be a part the ISL as financially it is rewarding. Would you comment on it? The foreign players have arrived in India to give our contribution in order to improve the Indian League, to make it more smart, more well-known, more open, and also to prove our quality along with Indian players. We don’t care about public opinion and what others say or write. We’re just working to improve the league in every sense and to give our contribution. Goal: Your team lost 1-0 to one of the junior teams of Fiorentina. Any Indian team-mate of yours who has caught your attention? The average level shown during the friendly match against Fiorentina was interesting. Slowly and gradually the players understand what the coach wants. We’re working hard on tactics and physical strength, and I see a strong effort by everyone. I don’t like to mention just one player as we’re building a solid group. We know we’ll be playing once every three days so we’ll need not only good players, but also good guys make a solid group. This will allow our coach to always choose the best players. Goal: How did your former colleagues react when you told them of your decision to go to India? Everybody respected my choice to join the ISL. I was the one to decide to come to India and then many other foreign players decided to do the same. We hope this will be the beginning of a new great adventure, to know this wonderful place (India) to most people, and to open a new cycle for the future. To win ISL would be great. We came to India with the desire to make good things, and we hope our efforts will be rewarded. We’re training hard and we’re doing our best to win it. Goal: Will we see you as a coach in the ISL once you end your playing career? We’ll see as right now I’m totally focused on my new experience in India. For sure I’d love to do something related with football in future. However, I have to know what are my skills in order to know what to do. But right now I’m focused on what I have to do in India in the next three months.

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Fiorentina mull bringing first team to India FLORENCE: FC Pune City's tie-up with Serie 'A' challengers ACF Fiorentina is at a nascent stage, but if both teams' plans come to fruition, the Italian giants could become the latest international team from a top flight league to visit India. "We could have the first team play in India somewhere down the line if it is possible. Maybe next year," said Leonardo Limatola, head of strategic planning and development at the club nicknamed 'The Viola'. "When the FC Pune City came here for training they were like fourth division team. Now, after a week, they have improved a great deal," he said. Manuel Pasqual, who has earned 350 caps in all till date and led the team out for three years, quipped: "All the team members are open to the idea of coming to India and playing a match there." Blackburn Rovers, who played in the English Premier League, were the first to visit and play and exhibition match in Pune in October 2012. Earlier, the same year, Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich featured in a farewell game for former Indian captain Bhaichung Bhutia in New Delhi. Limatola described the relationship between the two sides as romantic. "We wanted to bring our knowhow to India and what better way than with Pune City. We never thought we would start at the top with a big club," he said. "But now in India we found a friend. We discussed with them for four days and we shared our ideas and things fell into place. "We were looking at many countries like Japan, China, US to take our knowhow to. I know it is not easy to have business relations with India but now it's all happening here. We have fallen in love." Pune City's CEO Gaurav Modwel explained: "We are looking at Fiorentina for everything on the technical side. We want them to hold our hand all the way and guide us through everything possible. From coaching, technical expertise, and the knowhow, right to the selection of players." Both sides have ambitious plans to sow seeds of football development in India keeping in mind long term goals. "It's a long term project that we have in mind," said Limatola. Modwel added: "We hope to have the first sports centre operational in Pune by next year and then to other cities hopefully. We plan to have one or two pitches at the centre." Football in India is yet to gather momentum. Commercialisation and sponsorships are uphill tasks to execute. Hence constructing and owning a stadium is not a viable concept at the moment in India. Modwel agreed. "There are stadium constraints. The ISL is for three months and we cannot commercialise a stadium for just three months. Maybe in the future we can think of upgrading the facilities at the stadium like having corporate boxes." Pasqual was optimistic with the idea and more than willing to lend his assistance. "Before this I never knew India played so much football. I thought that maybe it was only at the amateur level. I do know some names in Indian football though," he said.

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FC PUNE CITY RETURN HOME WITH DAVID TREZEGUET davidtrezeguetreturns.jpg The FC Pune City squad returned home this evening to an ecstatic welcome after a week-long training camp in Florence. They were received at the Lohegaon airport by the members of St. Vincent High School's champion football team. A traditional band was at hand to provide a musical dimension to the occasion and the players and officials were garlanded by the young footballers during a short welcome ceremony. World Cup-winning forward David Trezeguet, the team's marquee international player, was present along with coach Franco Colomba, midfield maestro Lenny Rodrigues, and the rest of the FC Pune City squad. The former France international striker Trezeguet was the cynosure of all eyes and was mobbed by fans in the arrival hall, looking delighted and moved by the enthusiastic welcome. The team had trained at ACF Fiorentina’s home ground Stadio Artemio Franchi under the watchful eye of Colomba and other Italian officials. They played a friendly against Fiorentina Primavera (the Italian club's youth team) during their stint in Florence. FC Pune City have a tie-up with the Italian club for their venture in the Hero Indian Super League which begins next month. Among the other international players in the FC Pune City squad are defender Bruno Cirillo, midfielder Omar Martinez, winger Davide Colomba, and forward Ivan Palacios.

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IT’S ‘SARKAR RAJ’ FOR FC PUNE CITY! anupamsarkar.jpgAnupam Sarkar: Wealth of experience. While many aspiring Indian footballers dream of playing for just one of the big clubs in Kolkata, FC Pune City defender Anupam Sarkar has donned the colours of all four footballing giants in the ‘city of joy’. The former India under-19 alumnus has played for East Bengal, Mohammedan Sporting, Mohun Bagan and United Sports Club. Playing for all the top four is undoubtedly a rare distinction but does that not give the highly rated central defender a real dilemma on which team to support? Not quite. “Since my childhood itself, I was a fan of Mohun Bagan. But when I join a club, I stop supporting one team. I support the team I play for,†explained Sarkar in an interview with indiansuperleague.com. With the full support of his parents and family, Sarkar started his football journey in 2002. He shares a common source of inspiration with possibly every current aspiring footballer on earth: the TV screen. “It was my dream and passion to end up doing something related to football. This is why I started watching football on television. I watched the World Cup, began watching East Bengal and Mohun Bagan matches. Watching the game obviously roused my interest further. This is more or less how I got into the football scene.†Little did he know then that his passion for watching the sport would seamlessly transcend into an extremely accomplished career laden with silverware. With two Santosh Trophy titles, a Kolkata league title and an IFA Shield in the bag, his trophy cabinet is indeed very well decorated. “My parents believe I would have been a lawyer, but I believe I could have been a politician. But all these things only God knows,†was Sarkar’s reaction when asked whether he had any alternate career choices apart from football. Although he chose football, there’s no doubting the fact that his hard tackling, incisive challenges and sound decision making abilities are traits that would also have come extremely handy in a court of law or parliament or the state legislature. “In India, I follow Deepak Mandal. There is no point in following anyone from outside because the infrastructural differences are vast. Internationally, I like Pepe’s game and John Terry was really good,†was Sarkar’s articulate response when asked about his footballing idols. The face off against Mandal in the ISL’s Maharashtra derby will be the stuff of dreams for the 29-year-old, who will inevitably relish the opportunity to prove himself in front of his childhood idol. Sarkar has a lot of expectations that the ISL can change Indian football for the good. “If there is anything that can boost Indian football today, it is the ISL,†he stated. Considered by many as the reason behind the defensive stability of Shabbir Ali’s all-conquering Bengal side in the national championship, Sarkar’s expertise will hopefully propel FC Pune City’s quest in the ISL. It could be ‘Sarkar Raj’ for FC Pune City!

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Trezeguet: 'ISL could be of longer duration in future' 455659_heroa.jpgTrezeguet awaiting his Indian adventure The former Juventus striker believes that two months or so is a good period for the organizers to test the new league… FC Pune City striker David Trezeguet believes that in future the Indian Super League (ISL) could have a longer schedule as opposed to its format in the inaugural edition which lasts for two and a half months. Having played in some of the best leagues in the world, the Frenchman reckons that eventually the ISL wouldn’t have the time constraint of being merely two to three months long. “Let’s see how this first edition will work. Surely it won’t be a long league, but it will be very demanding as we’re supposed to play every three days," he told Goal. “It’s an interesting challenge, not only for the players and their level but also for the attendances and the media. All those things may contribute to make, in future, an ISL with a longer schedule,” he added. He stated that after the first season of ISL, the organizers would have enough time to contemplate over how they wish to go about the league in the years to come. “Let’s start this adventure with this format. Then once it’s finished, everyone will share their thoughts and opinions. In my opinion, it’s good duration for this trial edition in order to see whether it works,” he reasoned.

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Atleast we might see an Indian play in some sort of league. Hope this happens:pray:
Some get signed to lower divisions in major leagues but wont ever come close to playing in a league game. Hopefully all this Ambani money will put some life into indian football its just plain embarrassing. At the least India should be as good as China, which is about 70 odd places above its abysmal. May be close to Iran some day.

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Teenage Indian striker gets a taste of Bayern Munich

Muhammed Jinshad is excited about the fact that he got to train at the Allianz Arena, albeit for a week, and says it's a memorable experience for him. The 16-year-old boy from Palakkad, Muhammed Jinshad was one of the five lucky players from across the country to be invited to train at German giants Bayern Munich for a week. It was the southern leg of the Bajaj Allianz Junior Football Camp at Kochi in July in which the teen striker got his ticket to Deutschland. Having played as a striker for Palakkad in the inter-district tournament, he was adjudged the best player by a jury headed by former India captain Jo Paul Anchery
More:http://www.goal.com/en-india/news/136/india/2014/09/15/5105948/teenage-indian-striker-gets-a-taste-of-bayern-munich?ICID=HP_BN_6

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Colomba: 'Primary objective of the ISL is to grow football in India' 456093_heroa.jpgColomba awaits his ISL stint in charge of FC Pune City The Italian coach of the Pune franchise believes that the European players would find it difficult to adjust to the humid conditions in India… FC Pune City coach Franco Colomba has been impressed with the Indian contingent of his side after their training stint in Florence. “It has been a few days that I have got to know the Indian players. I have had a good impression of them. They have a great will to demonstrate and also have a good attitude,” the former Napoli boss told Goal. Colomba remained diplomatic in his answer as to whether FC Pune City would be more inclined to be miserly at the back as most Italian teams. “Italian footballers have got to use their experience in India. We will make the most of our chances and if there will be a need to defend, we will,” he mentioned. The former Parma manager highlighted once again that the key to Indian Super League’s (ISL) success is how to best raise the level of the Indian players. “There are many players that will play for the first time together. This is a new league with many players been put into the draft for a two and a half months league. Now we must make the most of it,“ he explained. “We must not forget that the main objective is to grow football In India and the mandatory number of Indian players on the field (six) is a demonstration of it,” he added. With most European players not used to playing in humid weather conditions, Colomba acknowledged that some of the foreign players wouldn’t find settling in India easy but was quick to add that this would be a common issue faced by all the franchisees. “The heat and humidity is another issue that has to be dealt with. The is not an obstacle only for us but for everyone,” he said.

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Fox Sports Australia will broadcast the new Indian Super League football competition AUSTRALIAN football fans will be able to enjoy the next phase of Alessandro del Piero’s football career, with the brand new Indian Super League to be broadcast on Fox Sports Australia when the tournament kicks off on October 12. The former Sydney FC marquee has chosen India as the next frontier in his illustrious career, joining Delhi Dynamos. “I am very enthusiastic about this new adventure, it fits perfectly well with the way in which I chose to move forward since I left Juventus, three summers ago,” Del Piero said in in August . “I’ve never wanted repeat the paths I’ve already walked, I have never looked for emotions that I’ve already experienced, those are unique and will remain unique and special forever.” With fan favourites like del Piero, Robert Pires, Freddie Ljunberg and David Trezeguet headlining the competition, there is sure to be plenty of interest to see if football’s newest league will take off and capture the imagination in a country with an estimated 40 million football fans. Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar is one of the franchise owners, along with bollywood stars and big name Indian figures. There is also an Australian flavour, with former Gold Coast United striker Andrew Barisic signed up by the Kerala Blasters, while ex-Newcastle Jets youth coach, Arthur Papas, is part Brazilian legend Zico’s coaching team at FC Goa. The competition joins Fox Sports’ popular football stable, with fans already enjoying the Barclays Premier League and La Liga, as well as the A-League, FFA Cup and Asian Champions League. Most matches will kick-off at 12.30am EST.

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Mutu set for India switch mutu-adrian_3205595.jpgAdrian Mutu: Set to sign for FC Pune City Former Chelsea and Juventus forward Adrian Mutu is poised to sign for FC Pune City in the Indian Super League, Sky sources understand. The Romanian has been in talks with several Indian sides but is understood to have chosen the league’s Pune franchise who have a technical partnership with Serie A side Fiorentina. Mutu had a five-year spell at Fiorentina ending in 2011 after joining the Viola from Juventus following the termination of his contract at Chelsea. The 35-year-old made his name at Parma before becoming one of 13 players to join Chelsea in 2003, as owner Roman Abrahamovich began his overhaul of the west London side. But a failed drugs test saw the four-time Romanian Footballer of the Year’s stay at Stamford Bridge cut short, resulting in Chelsea pursuing the player for damages for breach of contract. Mutu has 77 international appearances to his name and is Romania’s joint highest goalscorer with 35 goals, alongside former Real Madrid and Barcelona midfielder Gheorge Hagi. Meanwhile, the Indian Super League’s Chennai franchise have signed former Inter, Manchester United and Arsenal defender Mikael Silvestre. The 37-year-old will play alongside former Manchester City midfielder Elano and ex-Manchester United winger Bojan Djordic at Chennayin. Marco Materazzi – the team’s player-manager – arrived in India on Saturday to begin preparing his side ahead of the inaugural league which starts on October 12.

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Modwel: FC Pune City needs a striker and a midfielder 459372_heroa.jpgGaurav Modwel (Left) The franchise from Pune wants to strengthen themselves further before the inaugural edition of the new league kick starts… FC Pune City are on the lookout for a striker and midfielder given that one of the players bought from the Indian Super League’s (ISL) international players draft was injured when he reported to the team. “Right now, we need a striker and playmaker. One of our players whom we picked in the draft has arrived injured - Iván Bolado Palacios. We have already informed the league and will sign a replacement. Right now, we are short of strikers,” Gaurav Modwel, CEO of FC Pune City informed. Following the training stint in Florence where FC Pune City lost 1-0 to Fiorentina’s junior side, they drew against Deccan Rovers last weekend with the scoreline reading 1-1. Modwel opined that the team has improved by leaps and bounds following their pre-season stint in the Italian city. “It’s a complete hand holding from Fiorentina with regards to the technical side. Right from the selection of coaching staff to strategizing to working with the players, we are working on the plans together. “The Indian players came to Florence and there was a marked improvement. Technically they were fine but tactically they have improved. They have gained a lot. Their standards are coming up. Fiorentina’s Leonardo Limatola (Head of planning and development for Fiorentina) said that they were a ‘fifth division side when they came to Florence but look more like fourth or third division now,’ remarked Modwel. The FC Pune City official stressed that they would look to invest in an academy instead of looking to build a stadium. “We have not reached a stage where we need to build a stadium. Our lines of commercialization is very different from their (Fiorentina’s) lines of commercialization. It wouldn’t make sense for us as this is just a three month league. We have to upgrade the existing facilities. That’s all we need to do for the next three-to-four years. We would invest in academies instead. “We will build our sports center in Pune. It will be an in-house academy with practice pitch. Next year we will ensure we are sorted with regards to infrastructure.”

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Anderson or Gudjohnsen set for FC Pune City 359161_heroa.jpgAnderson Manchester United The Wadhawan Group backed side are all set to strengthen themselves further before the new league kick starts next month… FC Pune City are all set to rope in a top quality midfielder before the Indian Super League (ISL) kicks-off on October 12, 2014. According to sources close to Goal, former Chelsea and Barcelona midfielder Eidur Gudjohnsen and Manchester United’s Anderson are on the radar of the Salman Khan co-owned club. In Anderson's case, it is likely to be a loan deal until the winter transfer window. However, whether the player opts for a move to India remains to be seen. As told to Goal earlier, FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel had informed that the team is on the lookout for a top quality striker and a midfielder. "We need a striker and a playmarker," Modwel had mentioned. It is reliably learnt that Adrian Mutu, the former Juventus, Chelsea and Fiorentina forward has agreed to join the ISL franchise from Pune. Goal had earlier reported that one of the ISL teams was in contact with the Romanian as opposed to Chennaiyn FC. Should Gudjohnsen or Anderson join, FC Pune City would arguably have one of the strongest teams in the ISL with three marquee names in David Trezeguet, Adrian Mutu and one of the aforementioned players. It must be noted that Mumbai City FC were earlier in contention to rope in Gudjohnsen. However, the move failed to materialize. Meanwhile, Anderson spent the second half of the 2013-14 season on loan to Fiorentina who have a technical tie-up with the said ISL franchise.

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Adrian Mutu may join FC Pune City CHENNAI: Former Chelsea striker Adrian Mutu is likely to join FC Pune City in the Indian Super League (ISL) for the upcoming season, starting from October 12. "Discussions are on with Mutu and we'll come to know his decision within the next 48 hours," FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel told the TOI on Tuesday. The team, owned by Bollywood actor Salman Khan, Wadhawan Group and Italian club Fiorentina have signed David Trezeguet as their marquee player. With Mutu, Romania's highest goal-scorer, in the squad, the forwardline of the club would be solid. Mutu, 35, currently plays for Romanian club FC Petrolul Ploiesti. During the peak of his career, he played for Inter Milan, Verona, Parma, Chelsea, Juventus and Fiorentina. Anderson approached for Pune? Manchester United midfielder Anderson, who is on loan with Fiorentina, could feature in the team as well, it is learnt. "He could be roped in depending on whether his contract allows him to play for a club partly owned by Fiorentina itself," said a source.

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GREECE'S WC 2014 CAPTAIN KOSTAS KATSOURANIS JOINS PUNE CITY katsouranis.jpg Rajesh Wadhawan Group-owned FC Pune City of the Hero Indian Super League has attracted another high-profile player - Kostas Katsouranis from Greece. The former Benfica midfielder very recently led the Greek football team in their campaign at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. With this move Kostas also becomes the first player who has participated in this year’s FIFA World Cup to feature in the ISL. Head Coach Franco Colomba has added the talented midfielder to his squad before the start of the inaugural ISL season on 12th October, to further strengthen the team’s lineup. “Our team needed a strong playmaker who could play box-to-box. It was one position which we wanted to fill and now with the inclusion of Kostas in the team, we are surely a more balanced unit”, said Colomba. Katsouranis comes with a reputation of being a rock-solid midfielder who can also play in defence, and has years of experience playing for top-level clubs like AEK Athens and Benfica. He made his international debut for Greece in 2003 against Sweden and scored his first goal against Kazakhstan in a 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier. He was also instrumental to Greece's Euro 2004 triumph. Speaking on the club's new signing, Mr. Gaurav Modwel, CEO, FC Pune City said, “We are delighted to have Kostas in our ranks and I would like to extend my heartiest welcome to him. He has been a phenomenal performer for his country and previous clubs; and we at FC Pune City are confident that his inclusion will be a game-changer for us in the Indian Super league.” Katsouranis expressed his happiness on joining the Pune outfit, and said, “It is not an impulsive decision for me, I had been in touch with Pune City for over a month. What really attracted me to join them was their desire to win and promote football in India.” The Greek midfielder will join the likes of former Juventus star David Trezeguet at FC Pune City, and will certainly add a lot of strength and solidity to their midfield.

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Trezeguet is our natural leader: FC Pune City CEO New Delhi: The latest signing of Kostas Katsouranis, a crash course at well-known Italian Serie 'A' club Fiorentina and, of course, the presence of David Trezeguet, give FC Pune City reasons to believe they can go the distance in the inaugural edition of Indian Super League. Greece's 2014 World Cup captain Katsouranis on Wednesday joined the franchise, firming up its defence and midfield. Katsouranis is the only ISL import to have played in this year's FIFA World Cup in Brazil. FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said: "We definitely want to win and have aspiration to win. The coaching staff, players the whole team is working really hard. We want to win it for our fans as well." He added, "Pune was not traditionally known as a footballing bastion... but suddenly we are witnessing a spurt." The franchise has a tie-up with the former Serie A champions, who are providing them technical expertise, and had spent a week in Florence last month. "That (the stint in Florence) was the first time when the Italian and Indian players came together. Since 2004 they (Juventus) have really turned things around. We discuss everything with them. They helped us get the initial players, coach and coaching staff. I am on the phone with them twice a day." As talks turned to former Juventus star Trezeguet, who was part of France's 1998 World Cup winning squad and who is also credited with scoring the golden goal in France's Euro triumph in 2000, the franchise's top boss said the Frenchman is a natural leader for the team. "He is a natural leader of the team as of now. He leads from the front and has already scored five goals (in friendly matches)," Modwel said, adding, "The balance of the team takes a little bit of time, we don't play our best XI in friendly and play them in parts. The style of play is very important and that is settling in now. And because of our style of play, we needed a player like him (Katsouranis). Indian players Mehrajuddin (Wadoo) and Manish (Maithani) are playing well."

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