You can count on one hand the number of players with both a Scottish Premiership winners’ medal and the Indian Super League Player of the Year award adorning their CV. So Greg Stewart, formerly of Rangers and now of Mumbai City, finds himself in a category of one.

“It was pretty special being a part of that,” Stewart tells ESPN, reminiscing about his role in Rangers’ 2021 title triumph under Steven Gerrard.

“It’s something you dream of. (But) that’s in the past. I can think about that when I stop playing.”

Rangers v Hearts - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It’s an accusation often thrown at 30-something footballers when leaving Europe behind for a new start in a new continent; the old ‘one last pay day’ argument. Stewart, however, continues to dispell any notions that he swapped Glasgow for India purely to enhance his bank balance.

Former Rangers forward Greg Stewart is shining in India

Stewart’s impact in South Asia has comfortably outstripped that of Nicolas Anelka, Alessandro del Piero, David Trezeguet and Robert Pires; far more famous, more iconic footballers. While the aforementioned quintet departed almost as quickly as they arrived, Stewart signed a two-year deal with Mumbai City after that outstanding debut campaign at Jamshedpur FC, striking up an immediate understanding with his Oxford-born head coach Des Buckingham. The results have been sparkling. The performances too.

“It was difficult to play against (Buckingham’s Mumbai City side) because of how they keep the ball, move the ball, create as many chances as possible,” the former Birmingham forward adds.

“The way Mumbai play, that’s how I see football should be played.”

It is no coincidence that the ISL title has followed Stewart from Jamshedpur to Mumbai. With 14 goals and 11 assists in all competitions, the silky 32-year-old striker has been arguably the final piece in Buckingham’s jigsaw; Mumbai City seven points clear in top spot with just one game remaining.

And it’s telling that Mumbai’s only defeat this term came when Stewart was unavailable due to injury.

“Greg Stewart is best player in league,” Stewart’s former Jamshedpur coach Owen Coyle said last year.

Forget the ‘best player in the league’. Stewart, after playing an inspirational role in another league title, is surely up there with the ISL’s best ever now.

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