The 34-year-old played 16 matches in ISL 2020-21 and scored two goals.

I-League new entrants Rajasthan United have signed former ATK Mohun Bagan, Odisha FC and Hyderabad FC star Marcelinho Leite Pereira ahead of the upcoming 2021-22 season, Khel Now can confirm. The Brazilian will hence feature in the Indian football circuit for the sixth season in a row.

“Rajasthan United have completed the signing of Marcelinho. The Brazilian has been keen to return to the country and has been evaluating offers from many Indian clubs since the conclusion of ISL 2020-21. Rajasthan United were very interested in bringing him back to India. He will now feature for them in I-League 2021-22,” sources close to the developments informed Khel Now.

About the player

Marcelinho kick-started his career at Brazilian club Flamengo’s youth side before joining Atletico Madrid’s B team in 2006. He later played for a year at Getafe “B” before enjoying stints at multiple Brazilian, Greek, Emirati and Italian clubs. His career in Indian football began at Delhi Dynamos in 2016 and since then he has also played for FC Pune City.

Overall, the 34-year-old has played 79 Indian Super League (ISL) matches and has found the back of the net 33 times. The forward scored 10 goals en-route to winning the ISL Golden Boot in his maiden season in the league. With 18 assists, he is also at third place currently in the all-time ISL assists’ charts.

In the 2020-21 season, the Brazilian played for Odisha FC first, before shifting base to ATKMB via a loan deal during the winter transfer window. He ended up making 16 appearances in the league campaign and also scored two goals.

Following the end of the league season, Marcelinho played for Greek club Rodos FC. After five straight seasons in the ISL, it might seem like he is taking a step down to the I-League with Rajasthan United. However, the league debutants are no pushovers, as evident from their performances in the recently-concluded I-League Qualifiers.

Rajasthan United’s pre-season preparations

Not many people thought RUFC had a shot at winning the I-League Qualifiers prior to the competition. However, they remained undefeated throughout the qualifiers to secure a berth in the I-League.

Led by head coach Vikrant Sharma, the club are now actively at work, trying to add reinforcements to their squad so as to get themselves ready for the league. The dates and fixtures of the 2021-22 season are not out yet.

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