Chennai: Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC today announced that they have retained experienced Italian central midfielder Manuele Blasi for the third season of ISL.
The former Roma, Juventus, Napoli and Fiorentina midfielder joined Chennaiyin in 2015 after the expiry of his contract at Italian Serie B club AS Varese. Blasi went on to play a key role in Chennaiyin’s title success, making 13 appearances including starts in both legs of the semi-final against Atletico de Kolkata and the final with FC Goa.
The midfielder, who was capped eight times for Italy at international level, brought a lot of solidity to Chennaiyin’s midfield with his tenacity and work rate and was also a very popular figure in the dressing room. The 35-year-old had a stint at Italian third tier outfit Ischia after ISL 2015 and is now joining Chennaiyin on a free transfer.
“Blasi’s class and experience was very important for us both on and off the field last year. He will have a big role to play this year also. We are happy to have him back,” said Chennaiyin FC head coach Marco Materazzi.
“I am delighted to join Chennaiyin for another season in the ISL. It was a memorable experience in India last year and achieving the target of winning the trophy was a great moment for me personally. I would like to thank the owners and the coach for giving me a chance to come back in this special club and I am looking forward to retaining the title,” said Blasi.