Chennai, Sep 15 (PTI) Chennaiyin FC today announced the signing of Indian Super League winning defensive duo of Mailson Alves and Henrique Sereno for the upcoming season.

Both the central defenders have signed for the 2015 ISL champions on free transfers.

Brazilian Mailson is joining after the end of his contract at Brazilian third tier outfit Volta Redonda while Portuguse Sereno has signed after a short spell with Spanish second tier outfit Almeria.

Mailson returns to the club having won the title in 2015 when he made 12 appearances. Sereno lifted the ISL trophy with Atletico de Kolkata last season and also scored in the final.

Chennaiyin FC head coach John Gregory said, “We are very happy to have signed two winners who have proven themselves in the ISL already. It is great to have Mailson back at the club as he contributed so much to the success two years ago and had a fantastic season this year in Brazil.

“Sereno has an incredible CV with immense experience and was one of the best defenders in last season s ISL. The duo adds strength in depth to our defence.”

“I can’t express in words how I feel about returning home. I always dreamt of reuniting with the club and thank the owners and coach John Gregory for giving me this opportunity again. The fans remained incredibly supportive even though I played for another ISL team last year and now I want to do everything to bring back the trophy to Chennai for them,” said Mailson.

Sereno said, “I had a great experience last year in India and it was incredible to score in the final and lift the trophy. I am delighted with this chance of returning to India and signing for one of the best clubs in ISL. I am determined to experience that winning feeling again with Chennaiyin FC this season and can t wait to play at the Marina Arena.” 29-year-old Mailson made nine appearances for NorthEast United in the 2016 ISL and then went on to join Volta Redonda in January 2017. He made 22 appearances for Volta this year before returning to Chennaiyin FC for a second spell.

32-year-old Sereno has played twice for the Portuguese senior national team and won the Portuguese League and Cup double with giants FC Porto in 2010-11. He has also had spells in the top tiers of Spain (Real Valladolid), Germany (FC Koln & Mainz) and Turkey (Kayserispor).

In last season’s ISL, Sereno made 10 appearances for ATK with his only goal being the equaliser in the final which the Kolkata side went on to win after a penalty shootout against Kerala Blasters.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.