Two-time Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC on Tuesday announced the signing of Romanian central defender Lucian Goian for the 2019-20 campaign even as it parted ways with defender Mailson Alves by mutual consent.
The 36-year old Goian joins the club on a free transfer, and is no stranger to Indian football, having spent the previous three seasons at ISL Mumbai City FC, a press note said.
“It feels great to sign with Chennaiyin. The coach [John Gregory] played a huge role in me coming here [to CFC]. When he asked me if I wish to return to India to win the ISL trophy, I simply said yes,” the Romanian was quoted as saying.
“I believe Chennaiyin along with John [Gregory] are a club that knows how to win trophies, and I can’t wait to get started and give my absolute 100 percent on the pitch,” he added.
Head coach Gregory is happy with Goian’s acquisition, as CFC aims to bounce back in the 2019-20 ISL campaign after a forgettable run in 2018-19.
“In Lucian (Goian), we are signing a leader who has rich experience in Indian football. His commitment and aggression on the pitch have been quite evident from his time in Mumbai. Our goal at Chennaiyin is clear: to win a third ISL title, and we believe Lucian [Goian] can contribute significantly towards that objective,” the coach added.
Goian, who hails from the city of Suceava in Romania, initially started out as a striker in his early days. He subsequently evolved into a central defender and went on to play for clubs in the country, followed by China and Australia, apart from India.
He spent the previous three seasons at Mumbai City FC, helping them reach the ISL semis twice in the 2016 and 2018-19 campaigns.
Mailson, a Brazilian, captain for the 2018-19 season, leaves as a Chennaiyin legend, having played in three of the five seasons in the club’s history, making a total of 56 appearances in all competitions and scoring eight goals in the process.
He had started in both the 2015 and 2017-18 ISL finals which CFC won against FC Goa and Bengaluru FC respectively.
Mailson would be remembered for scoring from two first-half headers in the 3-2 win in the 2017-18 final.