ISL 2020-21: Who are Chennaiyin FC's foreign players?

ISL 2020: Rafael Crivellaro and Eli Sabia extended their stay with Chennayin FC while the two-time ISL champion has added Esmael Goncalves and Fatkhullo Fatkhulloev to its ranks.

Eli Sabia has made 59 appearances for Chennaiyin FC in all competitions so far.   -  Special Arrangement

Two-time champion Chennaiyin FC has managed to retain two of its star performers, Eli Sabia and Rafael Crivellaro, from last term for the seventh season of the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21).

The side has roped in the services of former Jamshedpur FC midfielder Memo Moura, Tajikistani winger Fatkhullo Fatkhulloev and Portuguese forward Esmael Goncalves.

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Here's a look at the seven overseas players in Chennaiyin FC's squad for ISL 2020-21.

Eli Sabia

Eli Sabia played a crucial role in Chennayin FC's late resurgence last season where the club rose from the bottom of the table to reach the final.

Eli Sabia has made 59 appearances for Chennaiyin FC in all competitions so far.   -  Special Arrangement

 

The Brazilian centre-back, who can also deputise as a holding midfielder, is a leader of the backline as his anticipation and aerial prowess is vital during set-pieces. After an inspiring outing last term, the Brazilian will look to carry on from where he left off last season.

Rafael Crivellaro

Rafael Crivellaro acts as perfect link between attack and defence with his ability to retain the ball and thread a pass through smallest of spaces.

Rafael Crivellaro (Left) was the second best assist maker in the ISL last season and has also scored 7 times for Chennaiyin FC.   -  Sportzpics

One of the top assist makers of last season, the Brazilian also has a penchant for score goals as he got on the score sheet seven times. His set-piece abilities were vital in Chennayin's run into the final.

Memo Moura

The third Brazilian in Chennayin's ranks, Memo was signed from Jamshedpur FC where he was one of the key players in the central midfield.

Memo Moura joined Chennaiyin FC after two seasons at Jamshedpur FC.   -  Sportzpics

Despite his poor form in 2019-20, the 32-year old adds bite to the central midfield with his tackling ability and positioning.

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Jakub Sylvestr

Following successful stints in the Slovakian first division with Slovan Bratislava and Dinamo Zagreb, striker Jakub Sylvestr moved to Germany in 2013.

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He spent four years in the second division Bundesliga.2 with Erzgebirge Aue, FC Nuremberg and SC Paderborn. Following a short stint in Danish club Aalborg BK, he moved to Israel and won the Israel State Cup with  Bnei Yahuda in 2019.

Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev

Tajikistan's Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev could turn out to be an important addition to the Chennaiyin frontline following the departure of Nerijus Valskis.

The striker brings along with him a wealth of experience playing in continental tournaments like AFC Cup Istiklol. He has won 11 top flight titles in Tajikistan and a domestic double in Indonesia. The 30-year-old is also record holder for most international caps for Tajikistan with 68 matches.

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Esmael Goncalves

Esmael Goncalves or Isma, is a Guinea-Bissau international who has played for clubs across Europe including French club Nice, Scotland's St. Mirren and Cypriot clubs APOEL and Anorthosis Famagusta. The forward won the 2012-13 Scottish Cup with St. Mirren where his goals were instrumental in winning the semifinal and final.

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Enes Sipovic

In a bid to shore up its a problematic defence, Chennayin FC roped in Bosnian centre-back Enes Sipovic from Qatari club Umm Salal. After beginning his youth career with Bosnian club Zeljeznicar, Sipovic spent most of his career in Romania appearing for clubs such as Petrolul, Farul Constanta and Otelul Galati for four seasons before his stints in Belgium, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.

ISL 2020 will be televised live on Star Sports and live streamed on Disney+Hotstar.

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