ABOUT CHENNAIYIN FC
Chennaiyin FC has been one of the most successful teams in the short history of the Indian Super League. Having got beaten by the Kerala Blasters in the semfinals of the inaugural edition of ISL, the Machans made themselves proud by being the champions by beating FC Goa in the 2015 season.
Marco Materazzi, the FIFA world cup winner and the UEFA Champions league winner, is retained by the club for the third successful season in a row. The combative center back who was infamous for the head-butting incident with the current Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane will have to work without Elano and John Stiven Mendoza, the players that have contributed for 29 of the 59 goals that the Machans have scored so far. The Brazilian has returned home and plays for Santos currently while the Colombian Elano no plies his trade in the Major League Soccer in the USA with the New York City FC.
The marquee player for the Dynamos for the 2015 ISL season, John Arne Riise, who won the Champions League with Liverpool FC has been roped in as the team’s marquee player and will spearhead the defence. The left footed player will be partnered in the center of the defence by the former PSG defender Bernard Mendy who is playing in his third season for the Machans. Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Abhishek Das, Dhanachandra Singh and the Brazilian centre-backs Eder and Eli Sabia will complete the defensive lineup. With the former goalkeeper Apoula Edel moving to FC Pune City to rejoin Antonio Habas, the Chennaiyin goal will be guarded by Karanjit Singh, who has been capped 17 times for the Indian national team.
The Machans have retained Manuele Blasi and Raphael Augusto, who will be supported by Dhanpal Ganesh, Harmanjot Singh Khabra and Thoi Singh in the middle of the park.
Jeje Lalpekhlua, considered by many to be the next superstar of Indian football, leads the frontline along with Baljit Sahni, the former FC Goa striker Dudu, along with the Italian strikers Davide Succi and Maurizio Peluso. 19 year old Daniel Lalhimpuia, who plays for Bengaluru FC will complete the firepower of the Machans towards their quest for the second title in a row. However, it remains to be seen as to how they will cope up with the loss of Elano and Mendoza in the attacking front.
Chennaiyin FC begin their title defence away to Atletico de Kolkata on October 02, 2016 and finishes off the league stages with a repeat of the last years final – against FC Goa at Goa!
CHENNAIYIN FC SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Apoula Edel, A NidhinLal, Karanjit Singh
Defenders: Mailson Alves, Abhishek Das, Éder Fernandes, Lalhmangaihsanga Ralte, Bernard Mendy, Alessandro Potenza, Dhanachandra Singh, Justin Stephen, Mehrajuddin Wadoo
Midfileders: Raphael Augusto, Manuele Blasi, Elano Blumer, Godwin Franco, Dhanpal Ganesh, Harmanjot Khabra, Zakeer Mundampara, Bruno Pelissari, Thoi Singh
Forwards: Fikru Teferra, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Stiven Mendoza, Jayesh Rane, Balwant Singh