After reaching the final of last season's Indian Super League, Chennaiyin FC will be looking to go one better and win the trophy once again in the upcoming ISL season. Coach Owen Coyle, who joined midway through the tournament and turned around the team's fortunes, has added to their arsenal a highly capable winger from Tajikistan. His name is Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev.
But who exactly is Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev? What has his career trajectory been like?
Here is all you need to know about Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev
#1 Dynamo Dushanbe and move to Istiqlol Dushanbe
Fatkhuloev started his professional footballing career with Dynamo Dushanbe in the Tajik top division in the 2007-08 season. But he was quickly snapped up by Istiqlol Dushanbe in the next season itself. Thus began a long love affair between Fatkhuloev and Istiqlol, where the winger spent a majority of his career and won many accolades and trophies.
#2 Legendary status at Istiqlol Dushanbe
Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev would go on to spend nine years at Istiqlol Dushanbe after joining the club in the 2008-09 season. He established himself as an international player for Tajikistan during his time at the club as well. Istiqlol dominated Tajik football as Fatkhuloev went on to be a part of the teams that won the league six times, and the Tajik Cup and Tajik Super Cup five times each.
He also had continental success with Istiqlol, winning the 2012 AFC President's Cup. However, they finished runners-up in the AFC Cup twice, in 2015 and 2017.
In December 2017, Fatkhuloev moved to Indonesian club Persela Lamongan and spent a season contributing with several assists. However, he moved back to Istiqlol after one season, winning the league and the domestic cup once again, scoring seven goals in that campaign.
#3 Move to Uzbekistan and subsequently to Chennaiyin FC
After tasting success with Istiqlol, it was time for Fatkhuloev to try a new experience with FC Buxoro of Uzbekistan in the 2019 season, where he made eleven appearances. Most recently, Fatkhuloev joined FC Khujand in early 2020 before Chennaiyin FC came calling.
#4 Playing against the Indian national team and Indian clubs
Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev is no stranger to playing against Indian clubs or the Indian national team. In fact, he scored his first goal for his country in their 4-1 loss to India in the final of the AFC Challenge Cup in 2008 at the Ambedkar Stadium.
Then in a 2013 friendly, Fatkhuloev scored in a 3-0 win against India. And in 2017, Fatkhuloev played in a two-legged Inter-zonal final in the AFC Cup against Bengaluru FC, a tie which Istiqlol won.Published 20 Nov 2020, 14:03 IST