Chennaiyin FC signs Slovenian player Mihelic

The 29-year-old joins the 2015 ISL champion on a free transfer after the expiry of his contract at Latvian club Riga FC, a release said.

At 19, Rene Mihelic (right) went on to become Slovenia’s youngest player at international level.   -  AFP

Chennaiyin FC has signed up Slovenian playmaker Rene Mihelic for the 2017-18 season of the Hero Indian Super League.

The 29-year-old joins the 2015 ISL champion on a free transfer after the expiry of his contract at Latvian club Riga FC, a release said.

Mihelic graduated from the youth academy of Slovenian giant NK Maribor and also went on to make his senior professional debut for the team. At 19, Mihelic went on to become Slovenia’s youngest player at international level.

After leaving Maribor in 2010, Mihelic spent three seasons with Portuguese top tier outfit Nacional and in that period he also had a ‘loan spell’ with Bulgarian giants Levski Sofia.

He returned to Slovenia in 2013 for a one-year stint with Zavrc. He then moved to Hungarian giants Debrecen for a one year stint before moving to Israel to play for Hapoel Ra’anana where he spent 18 months. In January 2017, he joined Riga FC on a short-term deal.

Mihelic has represented Slovenia at both senior and various age group levels from U-18 to U-21, the release said.

“Rene Mihelic is a player with a fantastic CV. He is not only a winner but has great technique and at 29 could have his best saved for Chennaiyin FC in the ISL. We look forward to a great season from him,” Chennaiyin FC head coach John Gregory said.

Mihelic said, “I am excited and happy to have joined Chennaiyin FC. I have played in many different countries in my career and from what I have heard from John and the club Chennaiyin FC, football is growing in India so I can’t wait to be a part of their progress. I thank Chennaiyin and John for believing in me and I hope to bring them and the fans lot of success.”

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