Panaji: Salgaocar Football Club have confirmed that African Cup of Nations winner Zambia’s Francis Kasonde will be their marquee signing for the I-League.
Each club must mandatorily have a marquee player in its ranks and Salgaocar have settled for the Zambian, who guided his nation to a memorable triumph in the African Cup of Nations in 2012.
The Zambian has 36 International caps to his credit, having made his debut in 2005. Kasonde netted his first international goal in a 1-1 draw against Egypt and donned the colours of Hapoel Ra’anana A.F.C in the Israeli Premier League during the 2013-14 season.
Kasonde is Salgaocar’s third foreign signing and comes a couple of days after Salgaocar renewed the contract of last season’s top scorer, Darryl Duffy. With Douhou Pierre roped in earlier from Pune FC, the former I-League champions now have space for just one more foreign player — from Asia — to complete the quota.
“I am delighted to move to India and join a club with such a rich history,” said Kasonde.
“Winning trophies are extremely important in the career of every footballer and I hope to make a significant contribution to Salgaocar FC in their quest for trophies this season,” he said.
Kasonde has in the past played in several defensive positions, before being deployed as a defensive midfielder ahead of the African Cup of Nations.
“He brings with him a rich experience having previously played in Saudi Arabia and Egypt with the highlight of his club career being a runners up place for Congolese Club, TP Mazembe at the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup. The winners were Inter Milan,” Salgaocar FC said in a statement.
Coach Derrick Pereira was pleased with the new arrival, who he has had a good look at during training.
“Francis is a welcome addition to our squad and his experience of playing at the highest level should benefit us greatly at the heart of defence. I now have at my disposal almost an entire squad, which allows me to focus purely on the job at hand,” said Derrick.
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