Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh, owners of the Mumbai franchise of the Indian Super League, today announced that the metropolitan city’s very own team will be called Mumbai City Football Club (Mumbai City FC). The franchise also made known player names and launched the team logo and philosophy during a press conference held at the city’s Palladium Hotel.
Present at the launch were several Mumbai City FC players such as Subrata Pal, Ishan Debnath, Manuel Friedrich, Peter Costa, Syed Rahim Nabi, Asif Kottayil, Lalrin Fela, Rohit Mirza, Abhishek Yadav, Sushil Kumar Singh, Singam Subash Singh and Nadong Bhutia along with owners Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh, Techincal Director Nishant Mehra and Team COO Arunava Chaudhuri.
Ranbir Kapoor, co-owner, Mumbai City Football Club said, “A dream has come true for our city today. As the Mumbai City Football Club comes to life on this day, I would like to share one thought you should always remember: the fact that this team belongs to not just me but 20 million Mumbaikars whose hearts beat here and who call the city home. This is our team Mumbai. It is one which will celebrate our unwavering spirit, and like the city, fulfill the dreams of players and football fans.”
“I could never have asked to get more than the Mumbai franchise. It is the city I’ve grown up in and a city I love. We have many plans for the future and I hope we can make all of them come true,” added Kapoor.
The team’s colours will be a combination of blue with red and white. Unveiling the Mumbai City FC logo, Ranbir shared details about the thought behind the striking blue and white design, which will be a symbol associated with every effort of the team and embody the eternal spirit of the vibrant, pulsating city.
“A resilient fortress stands proudly, surrounding the logo that signifies the unrelenting, determined spirit of the city. The seven stars, bold and regal, symbolize the islands that form Mumbai. Trains that are the very lifeline of the city, pulsing, beating a staccato rhythm as they ply millions of Mumbaikars across its vast expanse, every single day tirelessly, connect these islands. Each passenger, each citizen of the city bound together by their love for the place they call home,” Ranbir said. “20 million citizens, 20 million hearts that pulse to a single beat – the heartbeat of Mumbai”, he added.
Elaborating on the Football Philosophy of the team, Bimal Parekh said, “Our team will play a possession based free flowing brand of football, while being technically sound, fast and tactically aware.” This is the Mumbai City FC football philosophy and one it desires to remain true to at all times.
Talking about the squad, Nishant Mehra, Director Football said, “Mumbai City FC is composed of an exciting lineup of players that boast of varied international experience blended with rich domestic talent from across the country. We are looking forward to building a strong team by bringing together the best talent available.”
The following players will make up the Mumbai City FC squad: Subrata Paul, Ishan Debnath, Deepak Kumar Mondal, Raju Eknath Gaikwad, Syed Rahim Nabi, Peter Costa, Lalrindike Ralte, Asif Kottayil, Ram Malik, Rohit Mirza, Lalrin Fela, Abhishek Yadav, Singam Subash Singh, Sushil Kumar Singh and Nadong Bhutia who are domestic players.
André Matos Dias Pereira (Portugal), Manuel Friedrich (Germany), Pavel Čmovš (Czech Republic), Johan Letzelter (France), Ilias Pollalis (Greece), Tiago Manuel Fernandes Ribeiro (Portugal), Francisco Javier Fernández Luque (Spain), Jan Štohanzl (Czech Republic) and Diego Nadaya (Argentina) are the foreign sign-ups.
Mumbai City FC boasts of top international talent such as Germany’s Manuel Friedrich who is a quality centre back and the first German footballer to play professionally in India. He is the only team member in the ISL to have played in the last season of the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League.
Meanwhile Portugal’s André Matos Dias Pereira will fight for a place under the bar with India’s No.1 goalkeeper Subrata Paul and talented Ishan Debnath. Mumbai’s D.Y Patil Stadium will serve as the team’s home stadium during the ISL while Colaba’s Cooperage Stadium will be the Training base during the season. Pre-season, Mumbai City FC will train at the Father Agnel Ground in Vashi, Navi Mumbai.
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