Indian midfielder Syed Rahim Nabi was on Friday named skipper of Indian Super League side Mumbai City Football Club ahead of the tournament lung opener against Atletico de Kolkata on Sunday.
Former Germany international Manuel Friedrich will be the vice-captain of the team co-owned by Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor and Chartered Accountant Bimal Parekh.
The team has the likes of ex-Arsenal legend and former Sweden skipper Freddie Ljungberg, ex-Borussia Dortmund star Friedrich and French international and 2008-09 Premier League golden boot winner Nicolas Anelka.
Under the stewardship of ex-Everton icon Peter Reid, the club is determined to make a winning start to their campaign against one of the contenders for the crown in their home ground.
Commenting on Sunday’s game to be played at Salt Lake Stadium, Reid said, “This is the start of the competition and so it is a massive game. It is a big opportunity to play here and hopefully we will come up with the right result.”
“From the couple of weeks I have worked with the team, I have found him (Nabi) a natural leader, good communicator and a bubbly character within the dressing room. I think Nabi has great experience and knowledge of the game. Manuel Friedrich would be the vice-captain,” Reid added.
In the run up to the lung opener, Mumbai City FC has had a long pre-season camp to help the foreign and Indian players gel together and understand the strengths and weaknesses of each other. The team won all four of the friendlies they played.
Mumbai City FC’s Argentine striker Diego Nadaya has already scored two hat-tricks in the friendlies and will be a potent force upfront.
Among the team’s star recruits, Ljungberg might play his part in the match on Sunday after recovering enough from a niggle he suffered during practice.
“Hopefully, Freddie will get to play his part in the game,” Reid said.
The Mumbai team also has a formidable force among their Indian stars with Subrata Pal manning their goal-post and skipper Nabi and local star Raju Gaikwad standing tall in defence and midfield.
According to the rules of the tournament, five Indian players have to be on the field at any given time and to Mumbai City FC’s benefit, most of their first choice players have first-hand experience of playing in the City of Joy.
Nabi hoped that the team would get good support from the local crowd as some of them have played in the city for a long time.
“This is the first game and hence will be massive for all of us. We expect a good support for our team and we should get a positive result,” said Nabi.
The team also announced the signing of 28-year-old Andre Moritz to the squad and the attacking midfielder is expected to man the left flank.
The Brazilian born, Italian passport holder played in the second tier English Championship for Bolton Wanderers last season and also has the experience of playing in the Turkish and Brazilian leagues.
For Bolton, Moritz made 27 appearances, scored seven goals and provided three assists.
Updated Date: Oct 10, 2014 19:17 PM