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ISL-8: Chennaiyin FC name Anirudh Thapa as captain

Chennai, Nov 15 (IANS) Two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champions Chennaiyin FC have appointed midfielder Anirudh Thapa as their captain for the upcoming ISL 2021-22 season, which starts on November 19.

Chennaiyin, who won the title in 2015 and then in the 2017-18 season, made the announcement via a tweet and a small video clip on Monday.

India international Thapa, who had first signed a long-term deal with Chennaiyan in 2016, takes over the armband Brazilian playmaker Rafael Crivellaro. He was sent on a loan spell to Minerva before returning to the club in May 2017. He came in as a substitute in the final against Bengaluru FC as Chennaiyan FC won their second ISL title.

"I think not much has changed for me after being appointed the captain. I have been here for six years now and'so it's not hard to understand what the club wants. They want to win. And so do I. But as captain, there is an added responsibility. To grow up a little bit faster. I will still be a boy who loves football but I will also ensure that the team stays together on and off the field. And I will always protect my team and my players," Thapa said on being named the captain.

The 23-year-old Thapa is a vital player for the club and was named deputy to Crivellaro last year.

He has made 69 appearances for Chennaiyin and has won the ISL title in the 2017-18 season He was an integral part of their run to the final in 2020.

Chennaiyin take on Hyderabad FC in their opening match of the 2021-22 season on November 23 at GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Hyderabad.