cedric hengbart
[File] Ajax Amsterdam's Urby Emanuelson (R) challenges the ball with AJ Auxerre's Cedric Hengbart during their Champions League match at Abbe Deschamps' stadium in Auxerre, 2010.Reuters

Kerala Blasters are going all out to field a formidable side ahead of the third season in Indian Super League. The franchisee, co-owned by Sachin Tendulkar, announced the arrival of star defender Cedric Hengbart ahead of ISL 2016, on Tuesday.

The French defender plied his trade in the Indian Super League in both the previous seasons and will be playing once again in the third season. The 36-year-old was a part of Kerala Blasters in the inaugural season of the Indian football competition where he played an integral role in guiding the Kochi-based side to the ISL final.

Hengbart moved to NorthEast United FC in the following season and there too he made a mark as the Guwahati-based side stood fifth in ISL 2015 following a forgetful first season.

The former SM Caen and AJ Auxerre defender, who made a total of 215 French Ligue 1 appearances in his career, clocked up 25 appearances in the Indian Super League over the two seasons. Hengbart also has experience playing in the UEFA Champions League against the likes of Real Madrid and AC Milan in 2010.

Hengbart becomes the eighth foreign player for Kerala Blasters ahead of ISL 2016. The other players being Aaron Hughes, Graham Stack, Michael Chopra, Ouzin Ndoye, Josu, Kervens Belfort and Antonio German.

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