But the signing which grabbed all eyeballs was of Uruguayan legend Diego Forlan in 2016. It was one of the biggest signings in the history of the ISL. It is in the same season, Mumbai had reached play-offs for the first time in three years and were at the top of the table at the end of the league stage.
The Islanders again reached the play-offs last season under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho’s protégé Jorge Costa. Other than season three and five, Mumbai City’s performance have been below par irrespective of having big names in their squad.
The team had a good run last season under a pragmatic yet a very efficient coach Jorge Costa. The Champions League-winning former Porto defender had a balanced approach to the game which worked well for Mumbai.
In the recruitment department too, Mumbai showed maturity. Instead of running behind big names they scouted well and roped in some quality young Indian players. They had a very balanced squad with a perfect blend of youth and experience.
This season they have retained the services of two of their finest overseas players Moudou Sougou and skipper Paulo Machado. They have signed India international midfielder Rowllin Borges who brings the much needed experience at the centre of the park.
It was way back in 2005 that a Mumbai club, Mahindra United, were crowned champions of India. Unfortunately, Mahindra could not hold on to their success for long. With a quality squad and coach and with CFG’s involvement with the club, the Mumbaikars will finally hope that the club will churn out good results and win the elusive ISL trophy.