Indian Super League side FC Pune City, co-owned by Bollywood superstar Hrithik Roshan, have never reached the top four of the ISL in any of the previous two seasons, but will they be able to break that deadlock this time around? Well, the Pune-based franchisee have roped in experienced football coach Antonio Habas from Atletico de Kolkata to probably see if they can find that magic touch.
The Pune side got some key players this time around in the form of Edel Bete, the most experienced goalkeeper in the Indian Super League, while Iceland football legend Eidur Gudjohnsen became their marquee player.
Among the Indian players, Arata Izumi signed for FC Pune City from Atletico de Kolkata, while the likes of Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Gouramangi Singh and Sanju Pradhan give the side a formidable look.
Goalkeeper Edel has won two consecutive titles with two different teams and he is looking forward to becoming the first player ever in world football to win three consecutive titles with three different teams. Will his lucky charm work as well? That also remains to be seen.
"Yes, absolutely [I feel optimistic of landing home a third-straight ISL title]. I hope along with FC Pune City we are third time lucky. That's the goal for me," said Bete to ISL website in an interview.
"I am at a stage in my career where taking up new challenges is my motivation. Both Atletico de Kolkata and Chennaiyin FC were great experiences. I wanted to continue my pursuit for a new challenge," added the star goalkeeper.
FC Pune City, under Habas embarked on a successful preseason camp in Madrid, Spain. They take on Mumbai City FC in their first game of ISL 2016 on Oct. 3.
List of foreign players
Eidur Gudjohnsen (marquee), Edel Bete, Tato, Gustavo Oberman, Andre Bikey, Eduardo Ferreira, Bruno, Jonatan Lucca, Pitu, Jesus Tato, Momar Ndoye, Anibal Zurdo.