Indian Super League franchisee side Chennaiyin FC have announced that they have retained the services of 23-year-old Colombian striker John Stiven Mendoza for the second season of the ISL.
The striker scored four times in seven starts for the Chennai outfit last year, and soon became a fan favourite. The goals included a brace against Mumbai City FC in a 5-1 win for Chennaiyin FC at home. Mendoza joins the side this time on loan from Brazil giants Corinthians.
Following the impressive performance in India last season, the Colombian caught the attention of the renowned Brazil outfit, and joined them on January this year. His contract at Corinthians runs until 31 December, 2018, and the player already made his mark at the club after picking up 16 appearances, and registering himself on the score-sheet once.
Corinthians are currently atop the Brazilian league table, as they have 43 points from 20 games, and have an unbeaten run in as many as 13 games.
And bringing his Brazilian experience to the Indian Super League is something the 23-year-old is looking forward to.
"I am very excited to join Chennaiyin FC on loan for the second season of the ISL. It is an honour playing for Corinthians in Brazil and I have been enjoying my experience there. But I had some fantastic moments in the ISL last year so I would like to thank Chennaiyin FC and Marco [Materazzi] for giving me the opportunity to come back," Mendoza stated.
"I am grateful to Corinthians for agreeing to this move and I know that this time there will be more expectations from me. It was wonderful to be at Chennaiyin FC last year both on and off the pitch so I can't wait to get started again and especially play in front of our home fans at the Marina Arena.
"Last year I couldn't play the full tournament due to injury but this time I want to remain fit throughout and help Chennaiyin become the champions," he added.
Marquee player-manager Materazzi also welcomed Mendoza once again. "I am very happy to have Mendoza back with us for this year's ISL. We had been working very hard for our foreign signings and always knew that it would be difficult to find a player of Mendoza's calibre. So the best solution was to retain Mendoza and I am thankful to Corinthians for the agreement.
"Mendoza was one of our best players last year but he is still only 23 and thus there is plenty of room for improvement and I have full faith in him to make a big difference for us this time also."