The Malta Independent 10 December 2019, Tuesday

Andre Schembri signs with Indian Super League side Chennaiyin FC

Tuesday, 27 August 2019, 14:16 Last update: about 5 months ago

Former Malta international Andre Schembri has signed with Indian Super League side Chennaiyin FC for the upcoming football season.

The 33-year-old departed Apollon Limassol upon the expiration of his contract last July after two seasons with the Cypriot club.  Capped 94 times by the Maltese national team, this will be the first adventure of any Maltese players into India, where the profile of the game of football is continually rising.

“Many have been asking, but I’ve finally made my decision. This season I’ll be flying all the way to India to play for Chennaiyin FC”, Schembri wrote on his Facebook page.

“The club won the Indian Super League twice in the past four seasons and has the ambition to win more titles this season”, he said before adding that he is excited for this “life changing experience” and cannot wait to join up with the team.

Chennaiyin FC was founded in 2014 and plies its trade at the 27,877-seat Marina Arena in the city of Chennai.  Italian World Cup hero Marco Materazzi became the club’s first coach, holding that role till 2016 – when he was replaced by current coach, former Aston Villa manager John Gregory.

Notable players to have played for Chennaiyin FC include Materazzi himself, former Manchester City star Elano, John-Arne Riise, Mikael Silvestre, Alessandro Nesta, Eric Djemba-Djemba, and Manuele Blasi – who is now coaching Hamrun Spartans in Malta.

The team won the Indian Super League in 2015 and 2018, but finished in last place in the 2019 season, with only 9 points taken from 18 games.

Schembri is considered to be among Malta’s best footballing exports, having plied his trade with teams like Apollon Limassol and Omonia Nicosia – where he amassed 43 goals in 111 games – in Cyprus, Boavista in Portugal, Ferencvaros in Hungary, and FSV Frankfurt in Germany.

He retired from the Maltese national team in October 2018 with a total of 94 caps and three goals to his name.

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