Star-studded Delhi Dynamos looking to strike it rich

New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS) Having made the most noises in the transfer market after acquiring the services of three yesteryear stars, Delhi Dynamos will be keen to make a mark in the second edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) after their inaugural season misadventure.

Dynamos finished fifth last time, plagued by inconsistent performances throughout the season. Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero was brought in as their marquee player amid much fanfare but the former Juventus striker was barely fit to play and his ageing legs didn’t oblige to what his mind wanted them to do.

But instead of a conservative approach for a reversal of fortunes, Dynamos have opted to take an expansive and expensive route towards glory.

They announced the massive signing of legendary Brazilian left-back Roberto Carlos as their marquee player-manager, following it up with two other heavyweight signings, French stalwart Florent Malouda and Norwegian great John Arne Riise.

Not only star power they also bought local flavour in the shape of Robin Singh, bidding Rs.50 lakh in an auction.

Determined to remove any stigma attached to their opening season blues, the Dynamos management even changed their logo and held their jersey launch in front of historic monument the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Beneath the obvious changes in personnel, Dynamos retained several players like Hans Mulder, Gustavo Dos Santos, Anwar Ali and Shylo Malswamtlunga.

The 42-year-old Carlos, away from competitive football for over three years, has claimed to be fit enough to play but admitted to use himself sparsely “according to the need of the situation”.

The former Real Madrid, Inter Milan star has divulged little about his plans but did reveal his fascination for goals and showcasing “the Brazilian brand” of football, willing to be flexible with formations and tactics in order to achieve his objective.

The legendary defender also said he will employ himself in a midfield role and not in the left-back position, on which he made his name. He also plans to use the experience of Malouda and Riise in the central midfield zone to build the tempo of his team’s play rather than on their preferred left wing positions.

Carlos, the 2002 World Cup winner, has also claimed to be under no pressure of delivering on his promise and elaborated on his wish of developing India’s dwindling football fortunes.

He has also expressed his contentment at the quality of Indian players at his disposal, observing they only need to instill a “winning mentality” to succeed.

Dynamos conducted their pre-tournament training in Sweden and Denmark playing several practice matches against local sides, achieving mixed results.

Dynamos begin their campaign with an away game against FC Goa on October 4, followed by a home match at the Jawaharlal Nehru (JLN) Stadium against Chennaiyin FC on October 8.

Carlos needs to get a grip of his team from the very beginning to get desired results and when the initial hoopla dies down, he will be only judged by the performances of his team, not by his decorated credentials.

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