Two-time ISL champions Chennaiyin FC on Tuesday announced that Slovakian centre forward Jakub Sylvestr has joined on a free transfer for the 2020-21 season. The 31-year old former Slovakia international joins CFC from the Israel top flight after the expiry of his contract at Hapoel Haifa FC, a press release from the club said.
Sylvestr, who is set to become the first player from Slovakia to feature in the ISL, said he was excited about signing for CFC. "This is quite a new adventure for me – new continent, new family, new way of life living in the bubble and playing football. I am really looking forward to being with the team in Goa very soon. I will put my best foot forward to help the team succeed,” he was quoted as saying in the release.
CFC head coach Csaba László said Sylvestr, who became the club's seventh and final overseas player for the 2020-21 campaign, would add the necessary attacking impetus to the team. "Jakub (Sylvestr) will add necessary attacking impetus to our squad. He has been in good goalscoring form especially over the past few years, and I am certain he will carry that touch with him to India," he added.
Unleashing our new attacker from Slovakia! 🇸🇰
— Chennaiyin FC 🏆🏆 (@ChennaiyinFC) October 20, 2020
A centre forward capable of playing across the line in the attacking third, Sylvestr began his professional career at Slovan Bratislava in his homeland, with whom he won the Slovakian League and Cup titles. He then repeated the feat at his next club, which was Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia, winning both the League and Cup.
Sylvestr then arrived in the German second division, joining Erzgebirge Aue, where he finished the 2013-14 season as the league's top scorer with 15 goals. That was followed by stints at FC Nuremberg and SC Paderborn in Germany before a brief stay at Aalborg BK in Denmark. Sylvestr then made a move to Israel and scored 20 goals in 49 starts at four clubs, spread over two-and-a-half seasons.
One of the clubs was Bnei Yahuda, with whom he won the 2018-19 Israel State Cup. At the international stage, Sylvestr represented Slovakia at the youth level before making his senior debut in 2010 against North Macedonia in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier. His last appearance for Slovakia came in 2014 against Malta, with former CFC forward Andre Schembri in the opposition.
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