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ISL Transfer News: Chennaiyin FC rope in former Empoli midfielder Rafael Crivellaro

Sudarshan Venkatesan

Rafael Crivellaro has signed a one-year deal with Chennaiyin FC. 

Chennaiyin FC have confirmed the signing of Rafael Crivellaro as a free agent on a one-year deal. The Brazilian lastly played for Feirense, who are plying their trade in the Portuguese top-flight league.

Since Rafael likes to play further in an advanced midfield position, Crivellaro could be the replacement for Raphael Augusto, who joined Bengaluru FC last week. With yet another samba addition to the squad, the Blues have shown much-needed ambition in the transfer market and the manager John Gregory is on his heels to witness the Brazilian donning the famous blue shirt.

The Championship winning manager said: “Rafael (Crivellaro) is a quality addition to our squad, having plied his trade at the top level in Europe and Asia. His experience, technical ability and reading of the game will surely boost our ranks as we aim to challenge again for the ISL title. He comes with a lot of experience and will surely have a positive impact on our playing style.”

Rafael Crivellaro kick-started his professional career with the Brazilian club Internacional. Witnessing his giant strides at the age of 18, Italian club Empoli signed him on a long-term contract. But, the midfielder was not able to break into the starting eleven and eventually headed the exit door.

He had short spells at Caxias and Guaratingueta before moving to the Brazilian top-flight league side Vitoria SC. He made 41 appearances in his first season with the club before going out on loan to Vitoria. During his temporary stint with the Brazilian club, he was able to muster out 23 appearances.

Following his loan spell, he was demoted to the reserves side, a place where he shone. He scored 15 goals from just 24 appearances and moved away from the club. Furthermore, he played for Asian clubs Sepahan S.C and Ajman Club, and European clubs including Wisla Krakow, Arouca, and Feirense. He played in the Europa League while representing Arouca.

With jubilation, he said: “I am very happy to join Chennaiyin FC, a new experience in a new country with a lot of new hopes and expectations. Along with my new teammates, I hope to have a great season. I have also heard a lot about the city and the club’s passionate supporters. I am really looking forward to my time in Chennai and India.”

John Gregory has already welcome Lallianzuala Chhangte, Dragos Firtulescu, Neijus Valskis, and Andre Schembri to their attacking ranks this season. After finding the back of the net on just 16 occasions, the two-time Indian Super League champions will be hoping for a fortune change in the upcoming campaign.

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