Roberto Carlos became the Indian Super League’s (ISL) latest star signing this week when he agreed a shock deal to manage the Delhi Dynamos.
The ex-Real Madrid and Brazil legend, 42, will replace Holland’s Harm van Veldhoven, who could only lead Delhi to fifth in the ISL’s debut season.
Carlos was rumoured to take over at Qatar club Al-Arabi, but the former Sivasspor and Akhisar Belediyespor coach will now be plying his trade in India in one of the league’s biggest acquisitions to date.
The explosive left-back, known for his powerful free-kicks, played in three World Cups for Brazil and lifted the trophy back in 2002.
He also won four La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns, and was part of Madrid’s famed Galacticos era of the late 90s/00s which included the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Luis Figo and David Beckham.
Carlos scored 68 goals in 527 matches for the club before going on to have spells with Fenerbahce, Corinthians and Anzhi Makhachkala. He retired in 2012 at the age of 39.
Delhi are said to be talks with former Liverpool and Norway defender John Arne Riise, and ex-Chelsea and France midfielder Florent Malouda for their marquee player’s position.
Meanwhile, another former Chelsea and France attacker Nicolas Anelka will be Mumbai’s marquee player-manager after impressing last term.
The 36-year-old scored two goals for the franchise and had a similar dual role in 2012 for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.
“I would like to say thank you to the Mumbai City FC staff for giving me the opportunity to coach the club,” Anelka said.
“We are all very excited to start this new season. I’m personally very eager to take on this new role for the club and put a strong competitive team on the pitch.”
Bollywood actor and Delhi club owner Ranbir Kapoor added: “I’m thrilled to have Nicolas as our marquee player-come-manager.
“Last year, he impressed us all with his tactical knowledge and excellent motivational skills. It’s a role both parties have been discussing for a couple of months and it’s been a great start. We will provide Nicolas all the support required to try and win the league this year.”
The ISL will be held from October 3 to December 20.