The new Indian Super League is beginning to attract some attention now the season has started in earnest, with Atletico de Kolkata, current home to former Liverpool favourite Luis Garcia, and Northeast United sharing top spot after opening-day wins.
You may have heard about the likes of Nicolas Anelka, David Trezeguet, Alessandro Del Piero and David James going all sub-continental on us, but here are a few more past headline makers who haven’t got as much press en route to the ISL.
Bojan Djordjic – 32 – Chennai Titans
Much was expected at Old Trafford from Manchester United’s 1999-2000 youth player of the year. It never came.
Djordjic, a Serbian-born Swedish national who hasn’t played a senior game for either country, was last seen on British shores at Blackpool two years ago, with stints at Sheffield Wednesday, Red Star Belgrade, Plymouth Argyle, AIK and Hungarian outfit Videoton already behind him back then.
Andre Santos – 31 – FC Goa
The 24-cap former Brazil right-back may be best known in England for attempting to swap shirts at half-time with Robin van Persie during Arsenal’s 2-1 loss at Old Trafford two years ago, although Gooners will no doubt remember Santos more for the player he turned out to be.
His Goa side, led by Canarinho legend Zico and also containing 40-year-old ex-Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires, kick off their campaign by hosting Chennai Titans at Fatorda Stadium next.
Santos and co are 27/20 for the win, with the visitors 8/5 and the draw 23/10.
Joan Capdevila – 36 – Northeast United
Spain’s Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010 left-back, and the only member of La Seleccion’s starting line-up in Johannesburg that wasn’t on either Real Madrid or Barcelona’s books.
Capdevila spent much of his club career as a Champions League stalwart, first with Deportivo La Coruna and then Villarreal, so his experience is a massive boost for the ISL.
Elano – 33 – Chennai Titans
Chennai players make up more than half of this list, but ex-Brazil and Manchester City midfielder Elano is owner Abhishek Bachchan’s marquee signing.
After arriving at the Etihad for £8m from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2007, Elano was often brilliant for the Citizens, providing a creative spark and banging in goals, with eight in his first top-flight season, but the Premier League always looked a bit too quick for him.
Marco Materazzi – 41 – Chennai Titans
The Everton flop who went on to win the World Cup and Champions League is now player/head coach at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, with the trip to Goa the first chance Materazzi gets to pit his wits from the dugout.
Lecce’s finest turned out more than 300 times for Inter and gained 41 Italy caps from 2001-11.