Former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise has joined Frenchman Florent Malouda and Brazil legend Roberto Carlos at the Delhi Dynamos for the second season of the Indian Super League.
The former Norway international said on Tuesday that he was honoured to be teaming up with Carlos for the glitzy 10-week long ISL tournament.
“Roberto Carlos has been one of my heroes, growing up as a left back,” Riise, who turns 35 next month, said in a club statement.
“I’m honoured to have him as a coach and can’t wait to give my all for him and the team.”
Carlos, Delhi’s marquee player and manager, said he had big expectations of Riise, who spent seven years at the English Premier League club before moving to Roma in 2008.
“Riise is a great player, very experienced and a true leader on the field. He is definitely going to help on the development and evolution of the team in the competition,” he said.
Football’s popularity has been growing steadily in India and the ISL drew tens of thousands of supporters in its first year to watch former international stars.
A string of big names have re-signed this year including former France striker Nicolas Anelka for Mumbai City FC and Brazilian great Zico, who will again manage FC Goa.
Former world player of the year Alessandro Del Piero was Delhi’s marquee signing last year. But the 40-year-old struggled to keep pace and was relegated to the bench for the latter stages. Delhi finished a disappointing fifth in the inaugural season.
The second edition of the eight-team league kicks off on October 3.