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Delhi Dynamos retain former Chelsea star

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Delhi Dynamos FC on Tuesday retained the services of former French international Florent Malouda for the upcoming third edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) football tournament.

Malouda will be their marquee player for the tournament. He was on loan at the Wadi Degla FC in the Egyptian Premier League club and will return for his second stint with Dynamos, according to a release.

Malouda featured in 16 games last year and provided eight assists for Delhi on their way to the semi-finals.

DDFC president Prashant said, "Florent is a team player and he was an integral part of us reaching all the way till the semi-finals last season. His leadership both off and on the pitch is commendable."

Malouda sounded equally enthusiastic about his fresh venture.

"I am very excited to be back in India. It was a wonderful experience for me to play in the league last year and enjoyed it a lot. It was for the first time that I played outside Europe and to be honest I enjoyed it a lot," Malouda said in the release.

"We had a very good squad last season and it was sad that we had to bow out of the tournament in the semis. It's a different squad this year, I hope that we can build on what we achieved last season and together aim to lift the trophy this season." the 36-year-old winger added.

Malouda was hopeful that they will achieve success under the leadership of new Italian coach Gianluca Zambrotta.

"I have played against the coach back in the 2006 World Cup finals and I am well versed with his style of attacking football. I strongly believe we will be a force to reckon with in this season of the Indian Super League," the former Chelsea player said.

Zambrotta believed that Malouda's presence will benefit the youngsters in the team.

"Malouda is a proven champion and a legend. He has won trophies at the highest level and HAS represented his country in two World Cups. I watched the games from last season and I am very impressed by his performances. He is really well adapted to this league, and that along with his invaluable experience is exactly what the team needs right now."