ISL 2020-21, KBFC vs ATKMB: Who are Kerala Blasters FC's foreign players?

ISL 2020: Kerala Blasters has roped in the likes of Bakary Kone, Vicente Gomez and Sergio Cidoncha for the 2020-21 season which will begin from Friday.

Kibu Vicuna

Kerala Blasters FC has signed six new foreign players ahead of the 2020-21 Indian Super League season (File Photo).   -  Twitter @KeralaBlasters

Two-time finalist Kerala Blasters FC will begin its 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) campaign against ATK Mohun Bagan at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on November 20, Friday.

Ahead of the seventh edition of India's premier football competition, which will be held across three stadiums in Goa owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the Kerala outfit made some lucrative foreign signings including the likes of Gary Hooper and Vicente Gomez.

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As per the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) rules, ISL clubs can have seven overseas players in their squad. Here's a look at the seven foreigners in Kerala Blasters' squad.

Bakary Kone

Bakary Kone is a 32-year-old Burkina Faso centre-back who is currently the third most capped player for his country, with 81 international appearances. He started his youth career at his hometown club Etoile Filante in 2004.

Bakary Kone

Bakary Kone has played 141 games for Lyon in all competitions including the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League.   -  Twitter @KeralaBlasters

 

Having caught the eye of French scouts, Kone was rewarded with a move to France as he joined Guingamp in 2006. In 2011, he moved to Lyon and made 141 appearances for the French giant. Kone has won the Coupe de France title with both the clubs and featured in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.

Costa Nhamoinesu

Hailing from Harare, Costa Nhamoinesu started his senior career with the Zimbabwean side AmaZulu before moving to Masvingo United. From 2008, he spent two seasons on loan with Polish side Zaglebie Lubin and his strong performances earned him a permanent deal at the club.

Costa Nhamoinesu's experience will be a boost for the Kerala outfit.   -  Special Arrangement

 

Costa moved to Czech Republic outfit Sparta Prague in 2013. During his seven seasons at Sparta, the centre-back made over 200 appearances and also captained the side in its UEFA Europa League and Champions League campaigns.

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Vicente Gomez

Vicente Gomez, who made his senior debut for his home team Las Palmas in 2010 and played there for eight years, was instrumental in his club gaining promotion to the La Liga in the 2015-16 season.

But following the team’s relegation, the Spanish defensive midfielder moved to the second division side Deportivo La Coruna before joining the Kerala Blasters ahead of the 2020-21 ISL.

Sergio Cidoncha

Spanish attacking midfielder Sergio Cidoncha is the only foreign player retained by Kerala Blasters from last season. He had featured for Jamshedpur FC in the 2018-19 season. The 30-year-old has managed to rack up four goals and six assists in 25 ISL games over two editions.

Kerala Blasters' players celebrate Sergio Cidoncha's (R) 2nd minute goal against FC Goa.   -  H. Vibhu

Cidoncha, who also has a goal in the now-defunct Indian Super Cup, spent his youth career at Atletico Madrid before moving to Real Zaragoza. The midfield player had stints in Spain's second and third divisions as well before reaching India.

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Facundo Pereyra

Hailing from Argentina, Facundo Pereyra started his career with the amateur side Estudiantes De Buenos Aires in 2006. Later, he moved to Palestino on loan and made his professional debut with two assists and a goal in six appearances.

Hailing from Argentina, Facundo Pereyra started his career with the amateur side Estudiantes De Buenos Aires in 2006.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

The creative midfielder, who can also play as a striker, shuffled between the Chilean, Mexican and Argentinian Leagues before being picked up by the Greek side PAOK, his most productive move.

Gary Hooper

Gary Hooper, who started off as a Tottenham Hotspur academy player at just seven years of age, earned a place with Scottish giant Celtic in 2010 and subsequently made appearances in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.

Gary Hooper

Englishman Gary Hooper will lead Kerala Blasters' attack this season.   -  Twitter @KeralaBlasters

 

The 2012-13 season was his best as he scored 31 goals in 51 appearances and led the team to the domestic double. This earned the 32-year-old from Harlow, England, a chance to play in the Premier League as he signed for Norwich City FC during the 2013-14 season.

Jordan Murray

Australia's Jordan Murray began his career with Bulli FC before joining the youth team of Wollongong Wolves, which plays in the National Premier League. The 25-year-old forward progressed to the senior team in the 2014-15 season and scored 10 goals in 38 games.

Jordan Murray

Jordan Murray joins Kerala Blasters after a two-year stint with A-League side Central Coast Mariners.   -  Special Arrangement

Murray then moved to Sydney to join APIA Leichhardt, where he enjoyed a fine stint as he struck 43 goals in 64 games and won the Golden Boot in 2018. He subsequently transferred to the A-League and spent the last two seasons with the Central Coast Mariners.

ISL 2020 will be televised live on Star Sports and live streamed on Disney+Hotstar.

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