Indian Super League side FC Goa have roped in 27-year-old Brazilian striker Rafael Coelho as an emergency replacement for Victor Simoes in this edition of the ISL.
Simeos has been ruled out of the tournament after suffering an injury and FC Goa manager has plenty of problems in the attacking front at the moment, as star players like Darryl Duffy, Reinaldo, Victorino Fernandes, and even CS Sabeeth have their respective injury concerns.
Scottish striker Duffy has a fracture to his shin, while Reinaldo and Fernandes have an ankle injury and a groin injury respectively. Indian forward Sabeeth is not completely match fit as well.
The latest acquisition, Rafael, meanwhile, has plied his trade in the past with Brazil outfits like Vasco da Gama and Figueirense. He has also featured in the Chinese Super League and the Thai Premier League in the later stages of his career.
"I am very happy for the opportunity to be here," Rafael said in a statement. "All my team-mates received me very well. I hope to give my best and help the team to become champions. I have a lot of trust and confidence in the team after seeing how the team is working very hard and I hope to do my part as well."
Zico had earlier thought of deploying Simoes as the main striker in the ISL this season for FC Goa, considering his form, but the Brazil legend expressed his disappointment of not being able to do so.
"It is a pity because Victor Simoes is such a good player. I know him for so many years. We tried to help him recover from his injury. We will miss him in our team because he could have been a very good asset," Zico said.
Simoes had scored on a couple of occasions during FC Goa's pre-season tour this summer in Dubai.
Meanwhile, it is unsure whether Rafael will be expected to feature for FC Goa in the ISL game today against FC Pune City.