Two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champions Chennaiyin FC (CFC) have signed Mirlan Murzaev on a one-year deal. The forward becomes the first Kyrgyz player to feature in India’s premier football league. The six-feet tall striker is the second international recruit for the Chennai-based franchise ahead of the 2021-22 season. The addition of Mirlan will bolster CFC’s frontline with Jobby Justin and Rahim Ali already part of the fray.
An experienced campaigner, Mirlan is currently the top goal-scorer for Kyrgyzstan and also the second most capped player with 48 international appearances. Mirlan had struck a hattrick last month against Myanmar during Kyrgyzstan’s 8-1 victory in the qualifying match for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. “As a leading scorer of his national team [Kyrgyzstan] and with 100-plus career goals, the signing of Mirlan gives us a significant attacking boost and solidity in the front. We are pleased to welcome the first-ever player from Kyrgyzstan to Chennaiyin FC and the ISL,” CFC co-owner Vita Dani said.
Mirlan began his professional career with one of Kyrgyzstan’s top clubs — FK Dordoi Bishkek — during 2007-08 and went onto play for clubs like Lokomotiv Moscow II, Denizlispor and FK Kara-Balta. On his return to Dordoi in 2019-20, Mirlan emerged as top scorer with 10 goals from 13 games and guided the club to the league title. Mirlan has so far featured in 43 matches for Dordoi which includes 21 goals and 10 assists.