Player in Focus – Florent Malouda
Boasting five league titles across two countries on his footballing resume, as well as a 2012 Champions League medal with Chelsea during his time Stamford Bridge between 2007 to 2013, Florent Malouda returned for the 2016 ISL campaign re-signing with Delhi Dynamos.
The Frenchman’s first season in the newly-minted Indian Super league wasn’t particularly notable, but his second stint in India’s capital city has proved to be immensely successful, going home with the league’s best player honour.
Malouda made 14 appearances for the Delhi Dynamos under the stewardship of former Italian defender Gianluca Zambrotta, contributing three goals and as many assists in helping the side finish third in the league table with five wins, six draws and three defeats from 14 games. A top four finish meant that the Delhi-based outfit qualified for the playoffs, facing up against Kerala Blasters in a two-legged encounter for a shot at their first Indian Super League title.
Fate wasn’t however on the side of ‘The Pride’, losing the first match to their South Indian rivals 1-0. They registered a comeback in the second leg with a 2-1 win, taking the match to penalties. They failed however to score any of their spot kicks, handing Kerala an easy 3-0 win and a shot at the title.
Delhi Dynamos can however take a lot from their performance and build upon the fantastic display over the course of the next season. The side will no doubt be looking for a return by Malouda in their third season and better fortunes in their next ISL campaign.