Chennaiyin FC has named India international Anirudh Thapa as its new captain for the latest edition of the Indian Super League (ISL).

Thapa takes over the armband duties from Brazilian playmaker Rafael Crivellaro.

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The 23-year-old central midfielder, who signed for Chennaiyin in 2016, has become a vital player to the club over the years and was named deputy to Crivellaro last year.

Thapa has made 69 appearances for the club and has won the ISL title in 2017-18 season and was integral in the side’s run to the final in 2020.

“I think not much has changed for me after being appointed the captain. I have been here for six years now and so it’s not hard to understand what the club wants. They want to win. And so do I. But as captain, there is an added responsibility. To grow up a little bit faster. I will still be a boy who loves football but I will also ensure that the team stays together on and off the field. And I will always protect my team and my players,” said Thapa.

Chennaiyin takes on Hyderabad FC in its opening game of the season on November 23 at GMC Athletic Stadium.

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