Chennai : Chennaiyin FC have completed the signing of Esmael Goncalves, better known as Isma, on a free transfer for the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) season.
The 29-year-old Portuguese attacker is set for a first stint in India following a spell at Japanese club Matsumoto Yamaga.
"It feels great to join Chennaiyin FC, a club that represents a city with rich culture and a wonderful fanbase. My conversations with our Head coach (Csaba Laszlo) have been great so far, and I truly believe in the project he has in mind for us. I will work extremely hard to fulfill what my team and coaches expect from me. And hopefully deliver with as many goals and assists that help us win and achieve our objectives," said Isma.
With UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and AFC Asian Champions League experience in his repertoire, Isma is well-versed in operating across the frontline, highlighted by his record of netting 75 goals in almost 250 career appearances.
"Isma has a proven eye for goal with prior experience of playing in Asia. He has the capabilities of a lethal marksman and we hope to benefit from his versatility in the forward areas. I am certain he will link up well with the rest of our troops, and it will result in a lot of positive actions in the opponent's penalty area. We are all very excited to welcome him to Chennaiyin and India," Laszlo said.
The ISL, in its seventh edition, will be played behind closed doors at three venues - Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda; GMC Athletic Stadium, Bambolim; and Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco due to Covid-19 pandemic. East Bengal's arch rivals Mohun Bagan, after its merger with ATK, will also make its debut in this ISL season.