Chennaiyin FC announced the arrival of 30-year-old attacking midfielder Rafael Crivellaro on a free transfer for the 2019-20 season. The Brazilian joins CFC after a two-year spell at Portuguese top-tier side C.D. Feirense.
"I am very happy to join Chennaiyin FC, a new experience in a new country with a lot of new hopes and expectations. Along with my new teammates, I hope to have a great season. I have also heard a lot about the city and the club's passionate supporters. I am really looking forward to my time in Chennai and India," Rafael said in anticipation.
"Rafael (Crivellaro) is a quality addition to our squad, having plied his trade at the top level in Europe and Asia. His experience, technical ability and reading of the game will surely boost our ranks as we aim to challenge again for the ISL title. He comes with a lot of experience and will surely have a positive impact on our playing style," said Head Coach John Gregory from CFC's pre-season base in Ahmedabad.
Hailing from the city of Porto Alegre, Rafael's youth career involved time at S.C. Internacional in hometown Brazil and at Empoli FC in Italy. Soon enough he began his senior professional career in Brazil, followed by a successful four-year spell at Portuguese top-tier side Vitoria Guimaraes, which also included a brief loan move to C.D. Trofense. During his time at Vitoria, Rafael won the 2012-13 Taca de Portugal (Portuguese FA Cup) and also featured in the UEFA Europe League.
Spells at Ajman Club (UAE) and Wisla Krakow (Poland) came next for the Brazilian midfielder, before he played for F.C. Arouca and C.D. Feirence in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, along with a short tenure at Iranian outfit Sepahan sandwiched in between. Rafael again featured in the UEFA Europa League, this time for Arouca.