Crivellaro: Fans’ support a huge reason for me to continue with Chennaiyin

Chennaiyin FC’s talismanic midfielder Rafael Crivellaro was an integral member of the side that reached the 2019-20 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) final. The attacking playmaker recently signed a contract extension with the Marina Machans for the upcoming season and spoke about how the support of the Chennaiyin faithful influenced his decision.

“Everything surrounding the club convinced me, especially the fans and unconditional support we received last season became a huge reason for me to continue,” Crivellaro told goal.com during an interview.

The Marina Machans began Hero ISL 2019-20 on an underwhelming note, but the arrival of Owen Coyle as their head coach helped in a turnaround in fortunes. While Coyle’s impact on Chennaiyin was evident for all to see, Crivellaro is of the opinion that the fans standing by their players during ‘bad days’ also helped in their turnaround.

“It is honestly very difficult to find passionate supporters like this who stand by your side during your bad days. So, I am very happy to come back to Chennaiyin. The club has opened the doors for me to India and the experience has been fantastic,” the 31-year-old midfielder said.

Prior to the arrival of Coyle, Chennaiyin’s attacking force were unable to find their right form, scoring just four times in their first six matches. From there, the club went on to score 35 goals in 15 matches, with Crivellaro himself contributing seven goals and eight assists by the end of the season. “To not give up, and to have faith in your ability as an individual as well as having the faith in your teammates (was great). We backed ourselves and came back to have a very memorable season,” Crivellaro said. 

Although the Marina Machans were in scintillating form during their run to the final, the disappointment of the loss against the erstwhile ATK FC side is still fresh in Crivellaro’s mind and gives him the added incentive to go one step further in the upcoming season.

“For me personally, a season like this also makes you realize that the journey is more important than the result. Yes, the result in the final was not desirable, but the journey we embarked on to make it that far, left us with no regrets at all. The nature of the comeback last season was great but the outcome in the final was not satisfactory. So that is also providing the motivation to succeed in the new season,” he said.

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