Hero Indian Super League (ISL) defending champions have further strengthened their squad with the addition of talented centre-back Anwar Ali to their ranks, the club announced on Sunday. 

Ali who has emerged as one of the best defenders in India over the past year has cemented his place in the Indian national team and has forged a formidable partnership with former Mariner Sandesh Jhingan. 

He has played 16 times for the Blue Tigers and has also netted a goal for the side. Last season in the Hero ISL, the 22-year-old was a mainstay in the FC Goa team and played in every match of the season for the Gaurs scoring one goal and providing two assists. 

He is one of the best Indian defenders when it comes to playing it out from the back and possesses a league passing accuracy of 82%. He made the most successful passes (1080) in the Hero ISL last season. 

Ali expressed that it was always his dream to wear the green and maroon jersey and is now looking forward to playing in the Kolkata derby. 

"I had a childhood dream to play for one of the football giants in Kolkata and Mohun Bagan is one of the oldest clubs in India. Many of our football legends played for this club. It's going to be exciting to sport the Green & Maroon jersey in the coming season. I got many messages from the fans and I am overwhelmed to know about their interest in me,” Ali said after joining the club.

He continued, "MBSG has got a great team with some fantastic footballers. I will get opportunities to learn a lot from them. It's a challenge for me to get accustomed to a great team like this. I want to give my best to make everyone happy.”

About playing in the Kolkata Derby, Anwar said, "It's my dream to play and win the Kolkata derby. I have won championships for the Indian team, but have never won any championship for any club team. This season, I want to become a member of the champions for Mohun Bagan. They have got a team like that,” he concluded. 

Eli Sabia leaves Jamshedpur FC 

Jamshedpur FC have bid goodbye to captain Eli Sabia who has decided to leave the club after two fruitful years. 

Sabia who joined the club from Chennaiyin FC in 2021 helped Jamshedpur FC lift the League Winners’ Shield and was one of their most consistent players over the last two seasons. 

“We would like to thank Eli Sabia for his innumerable contribution to the club in lifting the historic League Shield and being a leader on and off the pitch. Wish you the very best for the future,” the club said in a statement on their social media handles. 

Sabia featured 33 times for the Red Miners in the Hero ISL and was a leader at the back. He took over the captaincy after the departure of Peter Hartley and was a big presence in the Jamshedpur FC rearguard. 

Winger Leon Augustine leaves Bengaluru FC after five years

Bengaluru FC, on Saturday, also announced the departure of winger Leon Augustine, who leaves the Blues after five years, having joined the club in 2018.

Leon joined the Blues through trials in 2016, and was part of the Bengaluru FC's first residential academy squad. He made his debut fort the senior team in the 2018 AFC Cup.

The Kerala-born player netted his first goal for the Bengaluru FC first team during the Hero ISL 2019-20 season against Hyderabad FC. Leon also scored three goals for the Blues as they reached the semi-final of the Durand Cup 2021. He has made 19 appearances for Bengaluru FC in the Hero ISL, tallying a goal and an assist