Chennaiyin FC have managed to further strenghten their squad as they look to take the Indian Super League (ISL) season two by storm, by retaining John Mendoza who has joined on loan from Corinthians.
The Colombian frontman had made a splash in the inaugural season as Chennaiyin FC finished top of the table, but failed to go past Kerala Blasters in the semi-final.
He scored four goals in nine appearances for the Blues in the group stages, with injury plaguing his appearances in the latter half of the season. He was indeed a big absentee and was deemed as one of the reasons why Chennaiyin faltered in the knockout stages.
He was a key player for the Brazilian giants, and played a starring role as Corinthians made it to the semi-finals of their local Sao Paulo championships while also making 10 appearances in the Brazilian Serie A with one goal in his kitty.
Chennaiyin FC will thus consider it a major coup as they convinced Corinthians to allow Mendoza to play in the ISL.
Marco Materazzi was effusive in his praise of the Colombian while also remarking that he can only improve.
“I am very happy to have Mendoza back with us for this year’s ISL. We had been working very hard for our foreign signings and always knew that it would be difficult to find a player of Mendoza’s calibre. So the best solution was to retain Mendoza and I am thankful to Corinthians for the agreement. Mendoza was one of our best players last year but he is still only 23 and thus there is plenty of room for improvement and I have full faith in him to make a big difference for us this time also,” said Chennaiyin FC manager Marco Materazzi from Perugia, Italy.
The player on his part wanted to make up for the missed time due to injury last season, and targetted the championship.
“I am very excited to join Chennaiyin FC on loan for the second season of the ISL. It is an honour playing for Corinthians in Brazil and I have been enjoying my experience there. But I had some fantastic moments in the ISL last year so I would like to thank Chennaiyin FC and Marco for giving me the opportunity to come back. I am grateful to Corinthians for agreeing to this move and I know that this time there will be more expectations from me. It was wonderful to be at Chennaiyin FC last year both on and off the pitch so I can’t wait to get started again and especially play in front of our home fans at the Marina Arena. Last year I couldn’t play the full tournament due to injury but this time I want to remain fit throughout and help Chennaiyin become the champions,” he signed off.