The reigning Indian Super League champions, Chennaiyin FC, have announced their marquee player ahead of the 2016 season. Former Liverpool star defender John Arne Riise, who played for Delhi Dynamos FC in the previous season, will now play his trade with the South Indian side.
It remains to be seen if Chennaiyin FC's former marquee player Elano plays a part in the ISL this season.
Riise, 35, had won a UEFA Champions League title as well as a FA Cup crown with Liverpool between 2001 and 2008. He later moved to Italian league side AS Roma. In the Premier League, Riise had appeared in 321 games in which he scored 21 times and assisted 15 in goals.
He was a stellar figure for Delhi Dynamos FC last season. He had clocked 13 appearances and scored once with a signature free-kick.
"John has had a fantastic career and was very consistent in last year's ISL. He will be a very important player for us both on and off the pitch," said Chennaiyin FC head coach Marco Materazzi in a statement.
Chennaiyin FC already has Mailson Alves, Eli Sabia and Bernard Mendy. On Thursday, Riise said that Marco had a big influence in his decision to join the club.
"Back in June, I had decided to take a break from football. But I always kept the door open for a return and after speaking to Marco, I found the motivation again to work hard," said Riise after moving to the ISL side on a free transfer. "So I would like to thank Marco and the Chennaiyin FC owners for believing in me.
Riise feels that working closely with Marco will also be a great experience for his future coaching career. "I had a very interesting experience last year in India, but this year I am more prepared and more excited. I can't wait to get started with Chennaiyin FC and help them retain the ISL trophy," the former Ligue 1 winner with Monaco, added.