Attacking midfielder Rafael Crivellaro on Friday extended his stay at two-time ISL winners Chennaiyin FC on a multi-year contract. (More Football News)
The 32-year old Brazilian, who captained CFC in 2020-21, was ruled out for almost half the season after suffering an ankle injury during a game against ATK Mohun Bagan.
"I'm very happy to continue with Chennaiyin FC. Ever since I joined the club, I've had a special bond with the fans, the city and the staff. I love Chennai. For me, it always felt like home," he was quoted as saying in a release.
"Last season, injury kept me away, and now I can't wait to get back with the team and give it everything on the field," the Brazilian said on his return to the club for a third straight season.
Chennaiyin FC co-owner Vita Dani said Crivallero has been a key player for the team ever since he joined.
"Rafa has been a key player for us ever since he joined, and the statistics will tell you that. We missed him last season due to injury. We are overjoyed to be able to continue with the best player in the ISL within our setup," she added.
In his 27 ISL appearances for CFC, Crivellaro has been one of the most consistent performers in the league. With seven goals and eight assists in the 2019-20 season, he was instrumental in the club's runners-up finish.
CFC's recently-appointed coach Bozidar Bandovic hoped the Brazilian would come back stronger and better.
"Rafael Crivellaro is a very good player. He has shown his quality with his performances for the team in the past. We have extended his contract as we believe he will do the same this year as well.
"I'm sure he'll work hard to make a comeback after his injury. I hope he will come back stronger and better and help the team as he did before," he added.
Apart from having played in one of the world's most prestigious club competitions, the Europa League, Crivellaro was also part of Portuguese top-tier side Vitoria Guimaraes, which won Taca de Portugal (Portuguese Cup) in 2012-13.