alessandro potenza
Inter Milan's Javier Zanetti [R] fights for the ball with Fiorentina's Alessandro Potenza [L] during a Serie A game in 2007Reuters

Italy defender Alessandro Potenza has become the latest player to bolster the backline of Indian Super League outfit Chennaiyin FC this summer.

The former Fiorentina right-back joins the star-studded defensive line of the ISL franchisee this summer, which includes big names like Bernard Mendy (France), Brazilian duo Eder Moneteiro Fernandes and Mailson Alves, Indian defenders Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Dhanachandra Singh, as well as marquee player Marco Materazzi, among others.

Potenza has been a part of the Italian side that won the UEFA U-19 Championship as well as the UEFA U-21 Championship in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Apart from that, he has been a product of the revered Inter Milan youth academy.

Chennaiyin FC manager Materazzi has mentioned that his compatriot was the perfect player who could have filled the slot for one more defender they needed this summer, and the World Cup winner feels Potenza has everything in him to boost the strength of the team.

"We are delighted to have signed Potenza. He is a player I know very well of course and since we were looking for one more defender he was the perfect candidate to fill that slot," Materazzi stated.

"Potenza has immense experience so he will have a big influence in our team both on and off the pitch. I have full faith in him to make a big contribution in our quest for the title in this year's ISL."

Chennaiyin FC finished as leaders in the regular league season last year, and apart from welcoming his association with Materazzi, Potenza says that he is focused on building a great understanding with the rest of the teammates in the ISL side.

"I would like to thank Marco and Chennaiyin FC for giving me this opportunity to play in the Indian Super League. I think it is a league with great potential and Chennaiyin FC under Marco had a fantastic season last time," the 31-year-old said.

"It will be a big change in environment for me but I am really looking forward to the experience of playing in front of big crowds in India especially Chennai. For now I want to focus on a building a great understanding with my new teammates at the pre-season camp and hopefully we will achieve the goal of making Chennaiyin FC the champions," he added.

The Chennai outfit have also announced that Potenza has joined other members of the squad in the team's month-long preseason training camp in Perugia, Italy.

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