ISL: Mumbai City FC sign defender Mohamad Rakip on two-year deal
Rakip came through the youth system, starting at the AIFF Elite Academy, and secured a move to Kerala Blasters in 2017, where he played for the B team in the I-League 2nd Division during the 2017-18 campaign.
Indian Super League side Mumbai City FC on Tuesday announced the signing of defender Mohamad Rakip for two years ahead of the upcoming season.
The 20-year-old right back came through the youth system, starting at the AIFF Elite Academy, and secured a move to Kerala Blasters in 2017, where he played for the B team in the I-League 2nd Division during the 2017-18 campaign.
Rakip eventually progressed to the senior team at Kerala Blasters, making 26 appearances for the club over two seasons. He was also a part of the preliminary Indian squad for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup but failed to make it to the final team.
"I am excited at this huge opportunity I now have in front of me and I want to thank Mumbai City for the faith they have shown in me. I am 20 and I believe that I have a lot to learn and achieve in my career," Rakip was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the club.
"Working with the best players in India and the best coach in the league will certainly help me become a much better player."
Head coach Sergio Lobera described Rakip as "one of the finest young footballers we have in India at the moment".
"He has shown incredible progress and all-round growth in the last couple of seasons. While he has tremendous potential and a great future ahead of him, I am confident he can hit the ground running and make a difference to our team immediately," Lobera said.
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ISL 2020-21: First major tournament in India since COVID-19 lockdown set to kick-off as ATK Mohun Bagan face Kerala Blasters
ATK Mohun Bagan, playing in their first tournament after the merger of last season champion sides of ISL and I-League into one club, will start as the frontrunner for the title in the seventh edition of the lucrative franchise-based tournament.
Fijian hitman Roy Krishna, who was ATK's top goal scorer with 15 goals last season, struck the all important goal after a 67 minute deadlock to give the all important three points for the green-and-maroon brigade.
At the stroke of the final whistle, Le Fondre stepped up and fired in a penalty to ensure that Lobera got the better of his former team.