Chennaiyin FC has brought in five new foreigners to the 2021-22 squad after a disappointing Indian Super League (ISL) campaign last year, when it finished eighth.
Brazilian attacking midfielder Rafael Crivellaro will continue for a third season with the club and the club has roped in plenty of attacking talents in a bid to improve on its last season’s showing.
Kyrgyzstan striker Mirlan Murzaev will fulfill the AFC quota in the overseas contingent.
Rafael Crivellaro: ‘I want to win a trophy with Chennaiyin FC’
Crivellaro is the creative fulcrum of Chennaiyin and after having signed a multi-year contract with the club earlier this year, will be raring to showcase his form from his maiden season, when the club reached the final, on the back of his goals and assists. The club skipper had his season curtailed owing an ankle injury last season.
Serbian’s Damjanovic is the only recognised overseas centre-back in the squad and with his ariel presence could offer an attacking threat from set-pieces. The left-footed defender played a pivotal role in Buducnost Podgorica’s fourth Montenegrin League title in 2019-20 and also featured in its Europa League qualifying matches that year.
Borysiuk has played in the top tier in Germany, Poland and Russia, and the English Championship and will provide the defensive cover in midfield and a make-shift centre-back. He has 350 club appearances in his 14-year long professional career, and has 12 caps with the Poland national team.
National team’s top-scorer Murzaev will become the first Kyrgyzstan player to play in the ISL. The six foot striker, who has 48 international caps, FK Dordoi Bishkek — during 2007-08 and went onto play for clubs like Lokomotiv Moscow II, Denizlispor and FK Kara-Balta. He has previously visited India in 2009 during the Nehru Cup in New Delhi and has two career goals against the Blue Tigers.
Koman was the final overseas signing for Chennaiyin and the Hungarian attacking midfielder comes in with Serie A and national team experience under his belt. In a career spanning over 15 years, the attacking midfielder has 300-plus club appearances, including 22 goals and 23 assists. In 2010-11, Vladimir featured in the six Europa League matches for Sampdoria before moving to the French club AS Monaco, followed by a stint in Russia and Turkey as well.
Polish striker Lukasz has 49 goals and 21 assists in his 200-plus club appearances. The 34-year-old has also played in Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Bahrain. He finished as the top scorer in the 2017-18 Jordanian Pro League while playing for Al-Faisaly Amman. Lukasz has featured in two of the world’s biggest club tournaments, the Europa League and the Champions League, making a combined 12 appearances.