ISL: Chennaiyin FC rope in central defender Lucian Goian

CHENNAI: twice Indian Super League Chennaiyin FC announced on Tuesday the signature of the Romanian central defender Lucian Goian for the 2019-20 campaign even when he separated from the defender Mailson Alves by mutual consent.

Goian, 36, joins the club in a free transfer, and is no stranger to Indian football, since he spent the previous three seasons in ISL Mumbai City FC , said a press release.

It feels great to sign with Chennaiyin. The coach (John Gregory) played a very important role in my arrival here (to CFC). When he asked me if I wanted to return to India to win the ISL trophy, I just said yes, said the Romanian.

I think Chennaiyin along with John (Gregory) are a club that knows how to win trophies, and I can't wait to start and give my 100 percent absolute in the field, he added.

Head coach Gregory is happy with Goian's acquisition, as CFC aims to bounce back in the 2019-20 ISL campaign after a forgettable run in 2018-19.

In Lucian (Goian), we are signing a leader who has rich experience in Indian football. His commitment and aggression on the pitch has been quite evident from his time in Mumbai. Our goal at Chennaiyin is clear: to win a third ISL title , and we believe Lucian (Goian) can contribute significantly towards that objective, the coach added.

Goian, a native of the city of Suceava in Romania, initially began as a striker in his early days. He later became a central defender and went on to play for clubs in the country, followed by China and Australia, in addition to India.

I have spent the previous three seasons at Mumbai City FC, helping them reach the ISL semis twice in the 2016 and 2018-19 campaigns.

Mailson, a Brazilian captain for the 2018-19 season, leaves as a legend of Chennaiyin, having played in three of the five seasons in club history, making a total of 56 appearances in all competitions and scoring eight goals in the process.

He had started in both the 2015 and 2017-18 ISL finals which CFC won against FC Goa and Bengaluru FC respectively.

Mailson would be remembered for scoring from two first half headlines in the 3-2 victory in the 2017-18 final.