Chennaiyin FC sign ISL winning duo Edel and Fikru

MUMBAI: Chennaiyin FC has signed Indian Super League (ISL) champion franchise Athletico de Kolkata’s (ATK) duo Apoula Edel Bete and Fikru Teferra Lemessa for the second season of the tournament.

Cameroonian-born Armenian goalkeeper Edel and Ethiopian forward Fikru played pivotal role in ATK journey to conquest in the inaugural edition of the tournament.

After the 2014 ISL, Edel played for Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel while Fikru was with South African outfit Bidvest Wits.

Edel has previously had a spell with French giants Paris Saint-Germain in his career and has also represented Armenia at senior international level. The custodian made nine appearances in last year’s ISL and kept four clean sheets with a memorable award-winning save in the final.

Fikru has captained Ethiopia at senior international level and also has ten goals for the African country. The striker is assured of a place in ISL history as he scored the first-ever goal of the competition in the inaugural game last year. Fikru netted five goals in 12 appearances in the 2014 ISL.

Chennaiyin FC manager Marco Materazzi said, “We are very happy to have signed Edel and Fikru for the 2015 ISL. They were both highly consistent performers last year and of course won the ISL. They were two of the best foreign players of the first ISL with Edel doing some outstanding goalkeeping throughout the tournament and Fikru had a great presence upfront with clinical finishing. The duo will add plenty of quality and experience in our squad.”

Edel added, “I had a great experience playing in India last year and I am thankful to Chennaiyin FC for providing me the chance to come back again this time. Chennaiyin FC were one of the most competitive teams of the first ISL so I am delighted to have joined them and it will be an honour playing under World Cup winner Materazzi. I still remember the game against Chennaiyin in Chennai. The atmosphere was electric so it will be great to have such home support this time. I won the ISL last year and I want to lift the trophy with Chennaiyin this time.”

Fikru opined, “I am delighted to have joined Chennaiyin FC as the opportunity to work with the legendary Materazzi is something you can’t turn down. Playing in the ISL was one of the best experiences of my career. I still can’t forget the moment when I scored the first goal in the competition’s history. I want to perform even better this time and make Chennaiyin FC the champions. Chennaiyin were the most consistent team in the league stage and they enjoyed great support throughout the tournament. I can’t wait to get started with CFC.”

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