Chennaiyin FC confirmed the signing of Spanish midfielder Manuel Lanzarote on a short-term deal till the end of the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 season. The 36-year-old former FC Barcelona graduate will arrive in Goa immediately and undergo the mandatory quarantine procedure before joining the squad. Lanzarote’s acquisition comes on the back of CFC captain Rafael Crivellaro being ruled out for the rest of the season following an ankle ligament injury he suffered against ATK Mohun Bagan on December 29, 2020.
“I am very happy and proud of the opportunity to play for a club that has won the ISL twice. Although it will be a very short stage, I hope to contribute with my experience and be able to help my teammates to achieve our goal,” said the Spaniard on joining the two-time ISL champions.
“Lanza (Manuel Lanzarote) is a seasoned professional with experience of playing in India. We hope to have him involved at the earliest and remain in the mix to push for the play-offs at that stage. Albeit for a short period, we welcome him to the club and look forward to working together in achieving our objectives,” said CFC Head Coach Csaba Laszlo on Lanzarote’s signing.
Laszlo and Chennaiyin will be aiming to tap into Lanzarote’s experience of playing in the ISL, a season each at FC Goa and ATK in 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively; helping Goa reach the semis which they lost to CFC on aggregate. The following season he joined ATK and was made their captain, leading them to the Super Cup semi-finals, which ended in defeat to Chennaiyin.
A wily tactician with the ball who possesses a keen eye for goal, Lanzarote is capable of playing across the midfield line. He will be aiming to form an instant connection with the likes of Anirudh Thapa, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Jakub Sylvestr upfront. Lanzarote will be looking to add to his impressive tally of 18 goals and 8 assists in 33 ISL appearances so far.
Having come through the youth ranks at FC Barcelona, Lanzarote played for a whole host of clubs in the Spanish lower divisions, before spending two seasons at RCD Espanyol in the top-flight from 2013 to 2015. Short spells at Greek side Asteras Tripoli and then Real Zaragoza in his homeland followed before Lanza’s time in India. And most recently, he featured for CE Sabadell FC and UC Sant Andreu, helping the former win promotion to the Spanish second tier in 2019-20.
Chennaiyin FC are in action on Thursday (January 13) against Odisha FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim with kick-off at 7:30 PM.