India

Florent Malouda – The Blue Who Conquered India

Florent Malouda won three FA Cups, one Champions League, one Premier League and the Community Shield during his time at the club before becoming a Hero of the Indian Super League!

In the summer of 2007 Florent Malouda made the move from Lyon to Chelsea. What followed was a brilliant career as a Blue which saw the Frenchman win multiple titles as a part of one of the most successful sides in the club's history, and also be named Chelsea's Players Player of the Year during the Double-winning season of 2009/10.

After his time as a Blue, Florent made the move to India, signing for the Delhi Dynamos of the Indian Super League.

At the club now renamed as Odisha FC, Florent was their marquee player for the second edition of the Hero Indian Super League and rarely put a foot wrong for the two seasons he was there. 

The experienced Frenchman rolled back the years as he tormented opponents for fun with goals and assists, helping his side reach the semi-finals in both seasons he played in. In his debut season Malouda racked up a season-high eight assists and completed more passes than any other player from his side (777).

In his second season, Florent captained the side and recorded five assists and three goals, becoming the league’s all-time top assists provider at the time (now trumped by Marcelinho). The Frenchman got his first Hero ISL goal against the then defending champions Chennaiyin FC, in a match where Indian football fans got to witness arguably his best performance as a Delhi Dynamo. Leading his side to a second consecutive semi-final, Florent bagged the 2016/17 Hero of the Indian Super League title for his exploits.

Florent Malouda may not have the numbers to keep him in the legendary bracket of Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and John Terry, but a true Chelsea fan can never forget those mazy runs, consistent game awareness and big-game decisiveness whenever he took to the pitch. That's something that was there on show for all Hero ISL fans in abundance.

Thanks for the memories, Florent Malouda. India will always welcome you with open arms.