Anelka named Mumbai player-manager

The 36-year-old, who scored two goals for Mumbai in the inaugural edition of the eight-team league last year, took on a similar dual role in 2012 for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.

“I would like to say thank you to the Mumbai City FC staff for giving me the opportunity to coach the club,” said Anelka, who spent many years in the Premier League representing Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.

“We are all very excited to start this new season. I’m personally very eager to take on this new role for the club and put a strong competitive team on the pitch,”

Mumbai could finish only seventh in the first ISL season, and part-owner Ranbir Kapoor – a Bollywood actor – hopes Anelka’s new role will help change their fortunes.

“I’m thrilled to have Nicolas as our marquee player-cum-manager,” Kapoor said.

“Last year, he impressed us all with his tactical knowledge and excellent motivational skills. It’s a role both parties have been discussing for a couple of months and it’s been a great start. We will provide Nicolas all the support required to try and win the league this year.”