ISL 2020-21: Portuguese forward Isma joins Chennaiyin FC

Isma has experience playing in UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and AFC Asian Champions League.

Chennaiyin FC has signed Esmaël Gonçalves, better known as Isma, on a free transfer for the 2020-21 Indian Super League season. The 29-year-old Portuguese attacker is set for a first stint in India following a spell at Japanese club Matsumoto Yamaga.

"It feels great to join Chennaiyin FC, a club that represents a city with rich culture and a wonderful fanbase. My conversations with our Head Coach (Csaba László) have been great so far, and I truly believe in the project he has in mind for us. I will work extremely hard to fulfil what my team and coaches expect from me. And hopefully deliver with as many goals and assists that help us win and achieve our objectives," said Isma.

Isma has experience playing in UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and AFC Asian Champions League. He has also scored 75 goals in close to 250 career appearances.

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"Isma has a proven eye for goal with prior experience of playing in Asia. He has the capabilities of a lethal marksman and we hope to benefit from his versatility in the forward areas," CFC Head Coach Csaba László said on Isma's acquisition.

Isma’s youth career comprised playing for Boavista in Portugal and Nice in France; and he went on to make his senior team bow for the latter in 2011.

The former Portugal U-21 international then signed for Rio Ave in the Portuguese top-flight, spending three seasons there. His time there included loan moves to St. Mirren (Scotland), Veria (Greece), APOEL Nicosia and Anorthosis Famagusta (both Cyprus).

Isma won the 2012-13 Scottish League Cup with St. Mirren, scoring in the semifinal win against Celtic on debut. He followed that up with a goal and assist in the final against Hearts.

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