Stylish AC Milan and Italian centre-back Alessandro Nesta becomes latest international star to join the ISL bandwagon
Chennai: Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Chennaiyin FC has signed legendary Italian defender Alessandro Nesta.
Nesta will be replacing Colombian striker John Mendoza, who injured his hamstring in the ninth round tie against FC Pune City. After undergoing a scan, it was revealed that the striker has been ruled out of the competition and as a consequence, the club requested to sign a replacement before the 10th round of the competition, as stipulated by the organisers. The 22-year-old returned to Colombia to recover from his injury.
The 38-year-old is likely to join the Chennai side after December 5.
"Yes, we have just signed him (Nesta). He will replace (John) Mendoza. I don't know yet when he will come as he now needs visa," Marco Materazzi, the manager of the southern outfit informed in the pre-match press conference on the eve of their clash with NorthEast United.
Nesta, who had only played for Lazio and A.C.Milan before a short cameo in MLS side Montreal Impact, would come out of retirement to take part in the inaugural edition the competition.
The Italian made 78 international appearances for his country. The central defender is the third member of Italy's 2006 World Cup winning side to be part of the tournament after Chennaiyin FC player-manager Marco Materazzi and Delhi Dynamos marquee player Alessandro Del Piero.
"We have plenty of options in attack - Jeje, Balwant, Maurice, Bruno and Elano of course. If we had found any better attackers than what we have at the moment, we would have gone for a forward. So since we got a world class defender (in Nesta), we signed him," Materazzi explained his reason to bring in Nesta on Chennaiyin FC's roster.