The defender had a difficult first outing in India with the Lions last season.
Kerala Blasters have roped in experienced Dutch defender, Gianni Zuiverloon from Delhi Dynamos. The arrival of the 32-year old defender was announced by the Blasters on Wednesday.
The Dutchman brings a lot of experience along with him to the Blasters’ backline. Zuiverloon came through the youth ranks at Feyenoord and then finally made his senior-team appearance back in 2004 for the Eredivisie outfit.
He has also plied his trade for clubs like RKC Waalwijik, Heerenveen and also for Premier League side West Bromwich Albion. He also has experience of playing in Spain for RCD Mallorca. However, his main career highlight has to be representing Netherlands in the UEFA European U-21 Football Championship where the Oranje emerged as champions in 2007.
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The Dutchman brings much-needed international experience at the back for the Blasters
The 32-year-old defender played a crucial part in his team’s route to the finale. The Netherlands faced England in the semis and the game went on to penalties, where he struck the deciding kick to take his team to the final. They wrapped up the title with a dominant 4-1 win over Serbia. Zuiverloon played a huge role in his side’s victory and was named in the UEFA Team of the Tournament.
His maiden trip to India was when he joined Delhi Dynamos last season and played 17 matches for them, netting twice in the league campaign. He has a healthy 80.32% passing accuracy which will help Eelco Schattorie’s team play out from the back. Zuiverloon was one of the brighter lights in a disappointing season for the Dynamos. His daunting demeanour will definitely help Kerala Blasters put up a better defensive show this season in the upcoming campaign.
“I am very excited to play for Kerala Blasters, the club with the biggest fan base in India. Every home game has seen immense support from the fans. I hope I can help and be a part of the best season the club has had so far,’’ Zuiverloon said after signing for his new club.
Blasters’ newly-appointed coach Eelco Schattorie was delighted with the move. He said, “Gianni is a very experienced defender, having played at very good clubs in Holland, England and Spain. He can play multiple positions, as a centre-back, holding midfielder and even at right-back. With the ball, he is very solid, creative and can make a good pass. Most importantly he is a rock at the defence. I’m very happy to have him in the team.”
Zuiverloon will definitely add more steel to the Kerala backline and his calm and composed demeanour will help the southerners in tight situations. He is also very good at passing it around, an attribute that is sure to be an asset..