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ISL: Chennaiyin FC to retain Marco Materazzi as manager for the third season

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Marco Materazzi; Image credit: ISL

Mumbai: The decision was taken after Chennaiyin FC’s Indian Super League (ISL) title win last season, but it needed time for the defending champions to zero in on the team formation for the third edition of the league scheduled to be held from August this year.

First things first, and so Chennaiyin FC is learnt to have got in touch with their star manager Marco Materazzi for another season in a bid to retain the title. With Materazzi drafted in, it is believed that the team building process will hinge on the former Italian international before the Chennai based side start their campaign in 2016.

If Materazzi joins the winners, this will be his third season with the ISL franchise. In the first season, he was associated with the team as a player-cum-manager while in the second he decided to coach the side rather than getting down to the business himself. That actually helped Chennai side to win their maiden title last season.

Boasting with the highest percentage (48 percent) of win among all the ISL managers, Materazzi became the cynosure of all eyes in the Chennaiyin FC ranks and the way he handled the dressing room, which figured many star players, impressed the team management. The fact that Chennaiyin FC managed to stave off elimination and then going on to win the title was something that was praised from all corners and cemented the Italian’s place in the side, be it as the manager.

Materazzi’s dealing with the younger Indian players also stood out during his two-year stint. Chennaiyin FC already retained four Indians — Jeje, Jayesh Rane, Abhishek Das and Dhanachandra Singh — who are back in the Chennai fold after having turned out for their respective Indian clubs in the I-League on loan.

There were discontent in the side in the first season, but Materazzi’s firm decision making impressed the management more than anything else.