ISL 2023-24: Chennaiyin FC sign Serbian defender Lazar Cirkovic to strengthen defence unit
Chennai, Sep 19 (IANS) Chennaiyin FC has completed the signing of Serbian defender Lazar Cirkovic ahead of the 2023-24 season, the Indian Super League (ISL) club announced on Tuesday.
The club signed Serbian defender as their fifth foreigner ahead of the upcoming ISL season.
"We’re delighted to bring Laz out to the club. We’ve chased him. For a whole he’s had a lot of interest from clubs because he plays at such a high level with great pedigree. And he’s a tremendous addition. He’s played at the highest level and he’ll be able to impart that knowledge and that quality. A terrific signing for the club," Chennaiyin head coach Owen Coyle told the club’s media team.
Cirkovic last turned out for Hungarian club Budapest Honved FC where he made 17 appearances in the Hungarian First Division in the 2022-23 season. He has played most of his senior football in the Serbian First Division, making 146 appearances for FK Rad, FK Partizan Belgrade and Kisvarda FC.
He has also played for Swiss side, FC Luzern and Israeli side, Maccabi Netanya.
"I'm very excited for the Indian challenge. I can't wait to get onto the pitch and fight for my new colours, teammates and fans. See you soon, Chennai," Cirkovic told the club.
The 31-year-old has won the Serbian First Division and Serbian Cup twice with FK Partizan Belgrade from 2014-2017, that included a double in the 16-17 season.
Lazar also has made eight appearances in the UEFA Europa League against popular European sides such as Tottenham Hotspur. He has also made six appearances in the UEFA Champions League Qualifiers.
Cirkovic has represented the Serbian National Football Team at the U-21, U-19 and U-18 levels.
Chennaiyin FC are currently preparing for the ISL 2023-24 season as they are scheduled to kickstart their campaign against Odisha FC in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.