England legend David James to play in Indian Super League football tournament
- Credit: Archant
Welwyn Garden City’s England legend David James is set to play in the inaugural season of the Indian football ‘premier league’.
The 44-year-old shot stopper will play for and manage the Kerala Blasters, when the Indian Super League (ISL) tournament kicks off in October.
James, who has recently been spotted watching WGC FC matches, will join veterans Freddie Ljungberg and Alessandro del Piero in the sub-continent.
The stars have been lured to India with large pay packets, but James – who has played for West Ham United, Manchester City and Aston Villa – has denied he is only heading to the west coast city of Kochi for cash.
He told reporters: “I am the marquee player for Kerala and am not here for money.
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“I am seriously committed to contributing to the team’s success both on and off the field as I am the manager too.”
“This is a new challenge for me and my influence would be critical to the team.
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“I am the goalkeeper and my job would be to prevent goals.
“We have some very young players and personally I would like to develop them.”
The ISL has been launched to compete with the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament, with its backers describing it as “football on steroids”.
Although the players’ terms have not been discussed it has been revealed the stars are likely to trouser “millions of dollars”.
The tournament is likely to follow an IPL-style formula, with TV-friendly sport combining with celebrity glamour.
James’ team is owned by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.