The ISL team from the Maratha heartlands, FC Pune City, have signed former Chelsea and Barcelona striker Eidur Gudjohnsen as their marquee for the upcoming third edition of India's most popular football tournament as Goal had exclusively revealed.
Iceland's most capped international footballer with 88 caps, Gudjohnsen joins the Hrithik Roshan co-owned team having won every major domestic and continental honour from his time in The Netherlands, England and Spain.
The 37-year-old has had a successful career having won two Premier Leagues alongside a La Liga title, and has a Champions League medal to boast of as well. His playing career has seen him play for as many as 15 clubs.
Gudjohnsen revealed that there were a number of teams interested in his signature, but FC Pune City's interest and their future plans made it a no-brainer for him.
He stated, “There were other clubs interested in me but when FC Pune City show their interest, intent and plans, I knew this was it. I have the confidence of the coach and will ensure that they find it difficult to leave me out. Everyone needs to be motivated to succeed, and I have the same aim here. I love the sport. I still love going to training every day."
Gudjohnsen, who recently turned out for Iceland in their fantastic Euro 2016 campaign, last parted ways with the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer managed Norwegian Tippeligaen side Molde FK.
While, FC Pune City's head coach Antonio Habas was obviously delighted by the signing of the former Barcelona man and expressed his admiration for the attacker.
“Eidur’s has experience of playing at highest levels and a professional motivation to succeed. I've admired him from afar for many years and am very excited at the prospect of us working together for the benefit of FC Pune City,” he conveyed.
It must be noted that the Orange and Purple Brigade, along with Mumbai City FC and Delhi Dynamos, were in talks with him ahead of the first edition of the Indian Super League (ISL).
CEO of FC Pune City, Gaurav Modwel thinks that Eidur Gudjohnsen's vast experience and the quality he will bring to the squad would help inspire the rest of the team into giving an even better performance on the pitch.
“To me Eidur is a true marquee who will be an inspiration to the rest of the squad. He has made valuable contributions to every team he has been a part of – Chelsea, Barcelona or Iceland National team. I am anxious to witness his sublime touches and creative vision which could unsettle any defence. I am sure that both as a world class player and a thorough gentleman he will leave a lasting impression on fellow players, fans, and Indian football lovers at large,” he claimed.
Gudjohnsen would certainly add immense experience to the Pune squad, having worked under the likes of Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Claudio Ranieiri and also having seen the development of a young and talented Lionel Messi.
Co-owner Hrithik Roshan also showed his immense pleasure of having someone of the quality of Gudjohnsen in the squad. He hopes FC Pune City can acheive big things in the upcoming season with Gudjohnsen pulling the strings.
"Gudjohnsen has proved his mettle while playing in the top teams and leagues of the world. This is a footballer who will bring immense experience to the squad. His signing will further strengthen our squad and I extend him a warm welcome into the FCPC family,” he said.