ISL: Chennaiyin FC rope in Bosnian central defender Enes Sipovic for upcoming season
The towering 6'6' feet defender joins the former ISL champions on a free transfer after a stint at Qatar top-flight side Umm Salal SC.
Chennai: Two-time champions Chennaiyin FC has signed up Bosnia and Herzegovina center-back Enes Sipovic for the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) season, the club announced on Monday.
The towering 6'6" feet defender joins the former ISL champions on a free transfer after a stint at Qatar top-flight side Umm Salal SC.
According to a statement issued by the franchise, Sipovic is CFC's third signing ahead of the upcoming season, following the arrival of Indian full-backs Reagan Singh and Chhuantea Fanai recently.
Sipovic, who just turned 30 last week and will be the first Bosnian to feature in the ISL, is excited about playing in India and is looking forward to joining the ranks of new CFC head coach Csaba László.
"I was instinctive that India will be my next destination. I am very happy to be part of such a beautiful club. I have been following Chennaiyin since its very first season in 2014 under Marco Materazzi, and I am aware that it is a team that has a tremendous fanbase and is incredibly successful," said Sipovic from the Bosnian capital city of Sarajevo, his hometown.
'Enes Sipović has all the qualities to succeed at CFC and in the @IndSuperLeague. An imposing presence in the air and extremely comfortable on the ball.' 💪🏽
— Chennaiyin FC 🏆🏆 (@ChennaiyinFC) September 21, 2020
Sipovic is a former Bosnia and Herzegovina U-21 international who came through the youth ranks of FK Zeljeznicar in Sarajevo, who have produced the likes of striker Edin Deko.
Sipovic then spent six years at Otelul Galati in Romania, with whom he won the 2010-11 Romanian top-division championship title.
Interestingly, Sipovic came up against CFC's skipper from last season, Lucian Goian, during his time in the Romanian Liga 1.
Following Otelul, Sipovic enjoyed stints in Belgium (KVC Westerlo) and Morocco (Ittihad Tanger and RS Berkane) before foraying into Asia with Saudi Arabia's Ohod Club. He then returned for a short spell with his alma mater FK Zeljeznicar before turning out for Umm Salal in Qatar last season.
Anything less than the trophy at SAFF Championship will be seen as a failure for Igor Stimac and the India men's football team.
Stimac said: "We had everything in control, we dominated the game, and had a one-nil advantage, and even had a one-man advantage. But despite all of that, we started giving away simple passes, making unnecessary mistakes."
Manisha (20th minute), Pyari Xaxa (27th), Sweety Devi (41st) and Anju Tamang (75th) scored for India in a match that was played behind closed doors at the UAE FA Stadium.