CHENNAI: After a long wait, the youngest franchise of the Indian Super League has finally signed a marquee player!
TNIE can reveal that Chennaiyin FC has agreed terms with former Manchester City star Elano. The player underwent a medical on Thursday. The 33-year-old Brazilian has been capped 50 times for his national team and famously, scored twice in the 2010 World Cup.
Prashant Agarwal, whose Kshatriya Sports was behind the move, confirmed the news. “Every player who we have been able to convince to play in Indian Super League has raised the bar to a global level. (Alessandro) del Piero, David Trezeguet, Marco Materazzi and now Elano will all shine. Our main concern is Chennaiyin FC now, but it is heartening to see the profile of Indian football as whole rise,” he said.
Elano first shot to fame at Ukrainian club Shaktar Donetsk, where his exploits earned him a big-money move to Manchester City in 2007, where he was joined an year later by fellow Brazilian Robinho. Elano scored 14 Premier League goals for City in 62 matches. The haul included a memorable 25-yarder to gain qualification to group stages of the UEFA Cup. He moved to Turkish club Galatasaray in 2009 and stayed there for two years, before moving back home to Santos.
Elano’s record for Brazil is more impressive than his club career with his 50 matches in the yellow and blue producing nine goals. He was part of the 2007 Copa America-winning team, assisting Julio Baptista’s opening goal before being subbed off due to injury. He also appeared for the Selecao in the 2010 World Cup where he was their joint second-highest scorer, despite his tournament lasting only two games due to injury.
While Elano will be Chennai’s marquee star, it is understood that officials are also eying two more big names. One of the players in question is understood to be former AC Milan captain and Italy midfielder Massimo Ambrosini, who is currently considering a contract from Chennai.