Indian Super League (ISL) side Chennaiyin FC have announced the signing of defensive duo Mailson Alves and Henrique Sereno. Both central defenders sign for the 2015 champions on free transfers with Brazilian Mailson joining after the end of his contract at Brazilian third tier outfit Volta Redonda while Portuguese Sereno has signed after a short spell with Spanish second tier outfit Almeria.
Mailson was a part of the Chennaiyin side who had lifted the trophy in 2015. He had made 12 appearances for the club. Sereno, on the other hand, won the title last season with Atletico de Kolkata also scored in the final against Kerala Blasters.
On the addition of the defenders to the squad, Chennaiyin coach John Gregory said, “We are very happy to have signed two winners who have proven themselves in the ISL already. It is great to have Mailson back at the club as he contributed so much to the success two years ago and had a fantastic season this year in Brazil. Sereno has an incredible CV with immense experience and was one of the best defenders in last season’s ISL. The duo adds strength in depth to our defence.”
“I can’t express in words how I feel about returning home. I always dreamed of reuniting with the club and thank the owners and coach John Gregory for giving me this opportunity again. The fans remained incredibly supportive even though I played for another ISL team last year and now I want to do everything to bring back the trophy to Chennai for them,” said an emotional Mailson.
On changing clubs and joining Chennaiyin, Sereno stated, “I had a great experience last year in India and it was incredible to score in the final and lift the trophy. I am delighted with this chance of returning to India and signing for one of the best clubs in the ISL. I am determined to experience that winning feeling again with Chennaiyin FC this season and can’t wait to play at the Marina Arena.”
29-year-old Mailson has also plied his trade with NorthEast United FC in the 2016 ISL before joining Volta Redonda in January 2017. He made 22 appearances for Volta this year.
32-year-old Sereno has played twice for the Portuguese senior national team and won the Portuguese league and cup double with giants FC Porto in 2010-11. He also had spells in the top tiers of Spain with Real Valladolid and in Germany with FC Koln and Mainz. In the last season, Sereno made 10 appearances for ATK.