Nicolas Anelka
Nicolas Anelka in action with Mumbai City FC in the first edition of the ISLISL Website

Getting high-profile former footballers as marquee managers for the franchisees has been one of the characteristics of the Indian Super League, with Brazilian great Zico ruling the roost as the biggest name in the list of ISL managers. 

The latest to join is former FIFA Confederations Cup winner Nicolas Anelka.

The former French international has been named as the marquee player-manager for Indian Super League franchisee Mumbai City FC.

Anelka, 36, played for the Mumbai-based ISL side last season under former England international Peter Reid. The lethal striker scored twice out of seven games in the last edition of the lucrative league, following a three-match global ban imposed on him for an anti-Semitic gesture he made in a Premier League game in December 2013.

The Mumbai-based side announced the appointment of the former Arsenal and Chelsea forward as their marquee manager on their Twitter feed.

Anelka is happy to be a part of the side for the second edition of the tournament.

"I would like to say thank you to the Mumbai City FC staff for giving me the opportunity to coach the club," said Anelka in a statement.

Under Reid, Mumbai didn't have a very impressive campaign last year as the Ranbir Kapoor-owned side finished seventh.

Anelka has stated that he is excited to take charge as manager this year and looks forward to form a very strong team.

"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," said Anelka. 

Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor is also happy to get the French striker as the marquee manager of Mumbai this year and he has explained that the franchisee are ready to provide all support to him to try and win the ISL title this year.

"I'm thrilled to have Nicolas as our marquee player-cum-manager," the actor, who himself is a passionate football fan, 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," said Kapoor.

For Anelka, playing a double role – player and manager – will not be much of a challenge, as the former Real Madrid and Liverpool star played a similar role during his stint at the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.

Mumbai City FC start their ISL 2015 campaign on 5 October, when they go head-to-head with local rivals FC Pune City at the DY Patil Stadium.

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