ISL: Chennaiyin FC Sign Experienced Tajikistan International Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev

Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev signed for Chennaiyin FC. (Photo Credit: Chennaiyin Twitter)

Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev signed for Chennaiyin FC. (Photo Credit: Chennaiyin Twitter)

Chennaiyin FC roped in Tajikistan winger Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev on a free transfer for the ISL 2020-21 season.

Two-time ISL champions Chennaiyin FC on Thursday announced the signing of Tajikistan winger Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev on a free transfer for the 2020-21 season. The 30-year old Fatkhulloev who can operate on either flank, is all set for a first stint in India, a press release from the club said.

Fatkhulloev is Tajikistan's most-capped international with 68 senior appearances so far, and joins CFC after a spell at FK Khujand in the Tajik top flight. The ISL guidelines for the new season stipulate that each team should have at least one Asian player among their foreign contingent, and Fatkhulloev fulfils that criteria, the release said.

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"I have heard a lot about Chennaiyin, seen many matches from previous seasons. CFC is one of the biggest clubs in India with fantastic fans. So when the opportunity arose to make the move, I didn't think twice," Fatkhulloev was quoted as saying in the release. "I am really excited about meeting my new teammates, and hopefully delivering a good brand of football with them, which helps us compete for the ISL title," he said from Dushanbe.

CFC head coach Csaba Laszlo said Fatkhulloev is an experienced player who would add to the team's versatility. "In Fatkhulo (Fatkhulloev), we are signing an experienced professional who has proven his mettle for club and country. He is yet another player who fits our mould of versatility, capable of performing on both wings, and even down the middle," the head coach added.

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Fatkhulloev was a key member of the Tajikistan squad that finished third in the 2006 U-17 Asian Championship and helped his country reach the round-of-16 in the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup. At the senior international level, he has nine goals in 68 appearances, including two strikes against India - in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup final defeat and in a 2013 international friendly win.

At club level, Fatkhulloev spent the majority of his senior professional career at FC Istiklol, with whom he won an impressive six Tajik top flight championships and five Tajik Cup titles during an eight-year stay. He also helped Istiklol reach the AFC Cup final twice during that period. He has also had stints in Indonesia and Uzbekistan.

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