The Slovenian joins the southern outfit on a free transfer…

Chennaiyin FC has completed the signing of Slovenian playmaker Rene Mihelic for the 2017-18 season of the Indian Super League. The 29-year-old joins the 2015 ISL champions on a free transfer after the expiry of his contract at Latvian club Riga FC.

Mihelic graduated from the youth academy of Slovenian giants NK Maribor and also went on to make his senior professional debut for them. At the age of 19, Mihelic went on to become Slovenia’s youngest player at international level.

After leaving Maribor in 2010, Mihelic spent three seasons with Portuguese top tier outfit Nacional and in that period he also had a loan spell with Bulgarian giants Levski Sofia. He returned to Slovenia in 2013 for a one-year stint with Zavrc.

He then moved to Hungarian giants Debrecen for a one year stint before moving to Israel to play for Hapoel Ra’anana where he spent 18 months. In January 2017 he joined Riga FC on a short term deal.

Mihelic has represented Slovenia at both senior and various age group levels from U-18 to U-21. He has won the domestic league in Slovenia and Hungary and has played in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League for Maribor, Nacional and Debrecen.

“Rene is a player with a fantastic CV. He is not only a winner but has great technique and at 29 could have his best saved for Chennaiyin FC in the ISL. I have been following him closely since he moved to Israel a few years back and always had him on top of our shortlist of foreigners when I got to know he is available. We look forward to a great season from him,” Chennaiyin FC head coach John Gregory stated.

Mihelic added, “I am excited and happy to have joined Chennaiyin FC. I have played in many different countries in my career and from what I have heard from John and the club Chennaiyin FC, football is growing in India so I can’t wait to be a part of their progress. I thank Chennaiyin and John for believing in me and I hope to bring them and the fans lot of success.”