Looking forward to play alongside Anelka: Mumbai City FC’s Chhetri

Mumbai, July 10 (IANS) After getting bagged by Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) players auction, Sunil Chhetri said on Friday he is extremely happy to be a part of the tournament revealing his excitement to play alongside the team’s marquee player-cum-manager, French football great Nicolas Anelka.

Four-time All India Football Federation (AIFF) player of the year, Chhetri who had the highest base price in the auction at Rs.80 lakh, was bought by Mumbai City FC for Rs.1.20 crore. The second edition of the ISL is scheduled to start on October 3.

“As a player I understand when you lose a game and do well, the next game and next day brings about a new challenge. I am very happy and thankful that I am bought by Mumbai City FC,” Chhetri said at a press conference here.

“Who wouldn’t be happy and excited to play alongside Nicolas Anelka. We saw him last year and we know what he can do with the ball. I am looking forward and excited to play with Anelka and the whole team,” the India national football team captain said.

when asked if he was disappointed with the amount he was bought for, he said, “I am playing football for 13 years and money is not the priority now. I think God has been very kind to me. I am looking forward to start my training. Money is not an issue. I had a great experience in I-League and now this is a different platform and very professional.”

Speaking on the team’s new inclusion, team owner and Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor said it was beyond his dream of getting Chhetri in the auction.

“We never thought in our dreams that we would get Sunil Chhetri. I level of a player he is, a great team leader. Its a dream come true to have him. It is going to be amazing. We have a budget and we had to carefully use from it. Keeping in mind all aspects from international player, Indian player, marquee player we have bought,” Ranbir said.

“Last season everyone said we were the strongest on paper. But we have learnt from the mistakes we did last season. Last year we got to know how to manage a team, how to start a team. We want to make a quality team with quality players. This year we have put in lot of hard work, with a great technical team. With Sunil coming, we have an upper hand,” he added.

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