Category: Indian Super League

Bengaluru FC sign Eduardo Garcia; finalize squad for Indian Super League

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC completed their quota of foreign signings and finalized their squad for the upcoming season with the addition of Spanish winger Eduardo ‘Edu’ Garcia Martin, the club announced on Saturday. Having penned a one-year deal, Edu becomes the eighth overseas player and the fifth Spaniard in the squad for the Blues’ maiden season in the Indian Super League.

 

Head Coach Albert Roca welcomed his fellow countryman to the Blues’ fold and said, “Edu is an exciting young winger. His versatility down the flank will provide us with great options in terms of personnel as well as our game plan. He will be a great addition to our squad and fits in well with our philosophy.”

 

Twenty-seven-year-old Edu, who joins the Blues from Spanish side Real Zaragoza, shared his excitement ahead of his first overseas stint, “I’m very excited for joining the club. From the first time, I liked the idea of playing for Bengaluru’s team in the Indian Super League. Football in India is growing a lot and it’s an important challenge for me. I hope I can help the club to reach the objectives for the season. I can’t wait to start!”

 

Born in Zaragoza, Edu joined his home side Real Zaragoza’s youth setup in 2002, aged 12. He progressed through the ranks at the club before making his debut with the reserves during the 2009–10 campaign, in Tercera Division.

 

In 2012, Edu joined CD Ebro before moving to fellow league team SD Ejea the following season. In July 2014, he returned to Ebro and scored career-best 16 goals during his first season, helping his team gain promotion to Segunda Division B, before adding a further eight in his second season.

 

The winger then sealed a return to Real Zaragoza in at the start of the 2016-17 season and made 27 appearances for the Los Maños helping them finish 16th with 50 points in the Segunda Division.

Bengaluru FC strengthen attack, sign Venezuela International Miku

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC have added more firepower to their frontline with the signing of Venezuelan International striker Nicolas ‘Miku’ Ladislao Fedor Flores ahead of their debut Indian Super League season, the club announced on Tuesday. The 32-year-old who signed a two-year deal, arrives to Bengaluru from Spanish side Rayo Vallecano with whom he spent the last two-and-a-half seasons.

The 6’ 1” attacker will team up with Spaniard Braulio Nobrega at the front and becomes the Blues’ seventh foreign signing for the season and the first ever South American player at the club.

Head Coach Albert Roca was delighted with the newest addition to the squad and said, “I’m extremely happy to have secured the services of Miku. He is an exciting player with some great skills and his playing style will help us a lot. Miku has played for several top clubs for a number of years now, and the experience he brings in will be very crucial for us this season.”

Having completed formalities, an excited Miku said, “I have heard a lot about the club and the city. We have some great players in the club who always fight for titles, so I hope it will be a good season for every one of us in Bengaluru. I spoke to Albert Roca about the club, the league and the team. He’s a very good and experienced coach and explained to me what he wants from me for this season. I can’t wait to join my teammates and begin training.

Born in Caracas, Venezuela to a Hungarian father and a Venezuelan mother, Miku began his football career in Spanish powerhouse Valencia’s youth system. Turning professional in 2004 with the Mestella-side, the striker turned out for CD Alcoyano (2004-05, 2nd B), UD Salamanca (2005–06, 2nd B), Ciudad de Murcia (2006, 2nd), Valencia ‘B’ (2007, 2nd B), Gimnastic de Tarragona (2007–08, 2nd), UD Salamanca (2008–09, 2nd) in the Spanish league system. His highlight during this period was striking 18 goals in the promotion winning campaign at Salamanca during the 2005-06 Segunda ‘B’ season.

The striker returned back to parent club Valencia for the 2009-10 La Liga season, before moving in the heart of Spain to Getafe. His four-year spell with the Madrid-based club saw him amass 26 La Liga goals in 90-plus appearances. Miku also had short loan spell with Glasgow-based Celtic FC in 2012-13 where he won the Scottish League and Cup double.

 

The following season, the Venezuelan moved out of Europe for his first spell in Asia where he represented Al-Gharafa SC (2013-15) in the Qatar Stars League. In January 2015, Miku returned to Spain to join Rayo Vallecano, another Madrid-based club. The striker settled in quickly and began firing all guns blazing in the 2015-16 season. In February 2016, he became the first Venezuelan to score in four consecutive Spanish top flight matchdays, winning La Liga’s Player of the Month award. That season Miku netted nine times and assisted four goals in 22 appearances for Rayo in the La Liga finishing their joint second-highest top-scorer in the league.

At the continental level, Miku has represented Celtic in the UEFA Champions League while playing in the UEFA Europa League for Getafe and Valencia, also scoring a hattrick in the competition for the latter.

A full international since 2006, Miku has 51 caps for Venezuela and has scored 11 times, most notably against Brazil in the during the 2015 Copa America in Chile. The striker also helped his team to a fourth-place finish in the 2011 Copa America held in Argentina. Interestingly, the striker has already played in India as a part of the Venezuela team which faced Argentina in an International Friendly in Kolkata back in September 2011.

For the record, Miku is the fifth-highest (joint) goalscorer for the Venezuelan national team and is 23rd (joint) in the list of most caps for his country.

FC Pune City snap ISL Golden Boot Winner Marcelinho

Pune, 21 August 2017: – Strengthening their squad further, the Rajesh Wadhawan Group owned Indian Super League club FC Pune City today secured the services of 2016 Indian Super League golden boot winner Marcelo Leite Pereira a.k.a. Marcelinho. The Brazilian winger who has plied his trade in Spain, Greece & Italy represented Delhi Dynamos FC last season. In his 15 appearances, the South American scored 10 goals and made five assists.

 

FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel was excited on the new addition to his team. “Marcelinhohas a great appetite for scoring and caused some serious damage to other teams’ defence in ISL last season. He is a busy player on the pitch, always in the thick of things – setting the pace, assisting and finding the back of the net. I know our fans really wanted him to don the FC Pune City jersey! Welcome Marcelinho.

In his career spanning almost a decade, Marcelinho has represented Atletico Madrid B, Getafe B, Greek clubs like Skoda Xanthi F.C., Atromitos Athens, Kalamataamong others.

Head coach Antonio Habas said, “Marcelinho is one of the most accomplished attackers we have seen in Indian Super League. He has the versatility to play on wings as well as in front of the net along with great pace to match his abilities. These qualities will be of great help to the team and hope we can achieve results that we aim for in the coming season.”

On donning the orange and purple, Marcelinho said. “It’s exciting times ahead as I join FC Pune City. Antonio Habas is a great coach to work with and his vision for the club is something that got me excited. I will give my 100 % and ensure my stint with FC Pune City gives the Orange Army many reasons to celebrate.”

Bengaluru FC sign India’s no.1 Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Bengaluru FC have completed a major signing for the 2017-18 campaign, roping in Indian National team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu from Norwegian side Stabaek FC for an undisclosed transfer amount, the club announced on Thursday.

While securing the services of India’s No.1 goalkeeper, the Blues have also completed the official paperwork in time for him to be part of the 2017 AFC Cup campaign. The lad from Chandigarh will be available for selection for the home leg of the crucial Inter-Zonal semifinal against North Korean side April 25 SC on August 23.

Gurpreet who completed formalities on a one-year deal on Wednesday night, becomes the first Indian player to be signed from a European club by an Indian club in a move involving a transfer fee.
The ’keeper, who arrived in Bengaluru on Thursday, was ecstatic ahead of the newest chapter in his career. “I’m extremely delighted to have signed for Bengaluru FC. While the experience of playing in Europe was fantastic, lack of game time was an important factor in making the decision of moving back to India. I had an offer from another top-flight club in Europe, but the need to play regularly ahead of the AFC Asian Cup in 2019 was something that was on my mind.”

“The fact that Bengaluru FC was interested in me was encouraging considering what they have achieved over the last few years. With BFC playing on the continental level this season as well as the next one will provide the perfect platform for me,” he added.

Club CEO Parth Jindal was pleased with the Blues’ latest acquisition. “It’s a matter of pride that Gurpreet has chosen to play for BFC. For us, he as big as an European signing. His presence and leadership will add immense stability to the team. While he is with us we will provide him with all the support he needs to be back among Europe’s elite.”

Having already played in front of the Blues’ faithful on a number of occasions while representing India, Gurpreet is eager to take the field at the Fortress. “The fans here are fantastic. The atmosphere we had at the Kanteerava was unbelievable and probably one of the best I’ve seen. I’m now excited to be playing in front of them on a regular basis and hope we can achieve something special.”

Turning pro in 2010 where he had a brief loan spell with AIFF’s developmental side Pailan Arrows (2010-11), Gurpreet returned to East Bengal, going on to become the first-choice custodian in the latter part of his three-year spell. At East Bengal, Gurpreet won the 2012 Federation Cup apart from topping the Calcutta Football League on numerous occasions.

Standing tall at 6’ 4”, Gurpreet moved to Europe as a 22-year-old, signing for Norwegian club Stabaek in August 2014 where he featured in a number of cup games, including the entire 2016 Cup run. He eventually made his League debut in May 2016 in an away match against IK Start, and in the process, became the first Indian footballer to play in a European top division league. In June 2016, the Punjabi lad put another feather in his cap, becoming the first Indian footballer to feature in a UEFA Europa League match by playing against Welsh side Connah’s Quay Nomads FC in the competition’s qualifiers.

Having represented India (U19 & U22) numerous times at the youth level, Gurpreet was called up to the senior national team for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, and made his debut couple months later in the AFC Challenge Cup. After playing second fiddle to Subrata Paul, Gurpreet finally cemented his position as India’s number one during the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers while even skippering the side on a few occasionn.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu leaves his Norwegian club Stabæk, will come to india

As per reports in Norwegian website www.budstikka.no, Indian star Goalkeeper has left Stabæk. It also added that he is leaving the club as he is not getting proper playing time with the club.

 

Report translate in English:

At the same time it is clear that Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu leaves Stabæk. The Indian has struggled with playing time since joining Stabæk in 2014, leaving the club for the benefit of Indian football.
Singh has been a good person to have in the club, and has developed a lot in time in Stabæk. Now he has made a club change which I think will be good for him, “said Ordinas, the goalkeeper who had a contract with Stabæk in the season.

In one tweet Sports journalist Jonas Giæver from Oslo, Norway  claims that Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will return to India.

 

 

Bengaluru FC sign Spanish striker Braulio Nóbrega

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC announced the signing of experienced Spanish forward Braulio Nóbrega Rodríguez on a one-year deal, the club announced on Monday. The 31-year-old La Liga veteran becomes the fourth Spaniard at the club joining fellow countrymen Juanan Gonzalez, Dimas Delgado and Antonio Dovale.

The former Spain Under-20 international joins the Blues after netting an impressive ten goals in 15 league games along with two in the cup for Doxa Katokopias FC in the 2016-17 Cypriot First Division league while helping his side survive relegation.

Born in Puerto del Rosario on the Canary Islands in the Atlantic, Braulio, who came through the ranks at Atlético Madrid, turned professional in 2004 joining the reserve side of the Rojiblancos. He scored 17 goals in 26 games for the ‘B’ side while also playing frequently with the main team in the La Liga. During the second half of 2005-06 season, he joined fellow La Liga side Mallorca on loan before having another loan spell with UD Salamanca where he scored 14 times in the Segunda Division.

Braulio was then signed by La Liga side Getafe CF for the 2007-08 season where he not only featured regularly during the league campaign but even starred at the continental level scoring thrice in the UEFA Cup – the highlight being a fantastic back-heel goal against Tottenham Hotspur, along with a game-levelling strike past Oliver Kahn of Bayern Munich in the competition’s quarterfinal.

Thereafter, the striker had spells with a number of Spanish teams in Real Zaragoza (2008-11, La Liga & Segunda Division), Recreativo del Huelva (2010, 2014-15), FC Cartagena (2012, Segunda Division), Hércules CF (2012–13, Segunda Division), Caudal Deportivo (2016, Segunda ‘B’), apart from stints with Malaysian Super League’s Johor Darul Ta’zim (2013–14) and Greek Super League side AEL Kalloni F.C. (2015-16) before joining Doxa.

Braulio, who joined up with his teammates at the pre-season tour of Spain, was excited about his latest stint, “I’ve heard all I needed to about the club from the Spanish boys in the side and all I can say is that I’m thrilled to be part of it. I even heard a lot about the club when I was with Johor Darul Ta’zim.”

“I’ve already put in a couple of sessions with the team and I feel very comfortable. It feels like I’ve been training and playing with this bunch for a while now. I will be doing all I can to help the club achieve its goals,” he added further.

Bengaluru FC Head Coach Albert Roca welcomed Braulio to the Blues fold and said, “Braulio is an experienced player who fits into our style of play. He’ll provide the muscle up front and hopefully with the support that we have, he can contribute at the business end of the pitch.”

Bidyananda, Robinson sign with Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru: Federation Cup champions Bengaluru Football Club, on Monday, announced the signings of midfielders Bidyananda Singh and Robinson Singh on two year contracts. While Bidyananda joins from ISL side Atletico De Kolkata, Robinson Singh joins the Blues from Mohun Bagan.

A defensive midfielder who progressed through the AIFF Academy ranks, Bidyananda joins the Blues after having represented India at the U13, U14, U15, U16 and U17 sides. The 19-year-old faced the Blues while playing for the AIFF U19s in a friendly in Bengaluru in 2015, a match in which he found the net.

“Bengaluru FC are the best in India and it is a big moment for me to sign for a club that wins trophies and competes with the best in Asia every season. I’m happy to get this opportunity and I’m looking forward to making the most of it,” said Bidyananda following the move.

Robinson, meanwhile, joins the Blues having represented Mohun Bagan for the last two seasons. The 20-year-old has also represented India at the U16, U17 and U19 levels. He was also part of the India team that took part in the AFC U23 Championship qualifiers in Doha, earlier in July.

“I’ve always believed that a move to BFC would be the best path for my career. In terms of the coaching, the professionalism and every aspect of football, this is the right place to be for any young footballer. This move is one that I’ve been working hard for, for a long time,” said Robinson.

Bengaluru FC kick-off pre-season; fans welcome new-look squad at BFS

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC kicked off their 2017-18 pre-season with an open training session at the Bengaluru Football Stadium on Wednesday in front of the Blues’ faithful who turned out in numbers to vociferously cheer their heroes on.

With the AFC Cup Inter-zonal Semifinal against North Korean side April 25 SC fast approaching, the Blues wasted no time in starting off their pre-season training in the city three days post the ISL Draft.

Speaking on the sidelines of the season’s first ever training session, Head Coach Albert Roca was delighted to be back in action. “We’re happy to be back on the field. Our target is to build on last season’s progress as we move into a new chapter in the club’s history. But before our domestic season begins, we’ve got big matches coming up fast in the AFC Cup. We don’t want to waste any time and prepare the best way possible for the first leg at home. The Spain tour will also help us massively as it gives us a good opportunity to gel as a squad,” he said.

The day at the BFS began with an introductory meeting between the new players and the staff, both technical and non-technical as the club welcomed its new signings into the fold. Albert Roca and co. then quickly briefed the players about their expectations for the tough season ahead while encouraging them to train at the highest level always.

Club captain Sunil Chhetri said he was confident of the task ahead despite the reshuffle in the squad. “Things will get tougher from here given we have only just assembled a squad. But we’ve got a really good set of players that I’m confident will turn into a unit with time. There’s a nice blend of experience and youth and it’s going to be an exciting season ahead.”

On the field, it was all about sessions in endurance training which was overlooked by the entire coaching staff. The idea was to assess the players’ physical condition before the day was rounded off with a core session. The players and staff then interacted with the fans before posing for selfies and signing autographs.

AFC Competitions Committee’s decision published regarding ISL and I-League

Following a recommendation from the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the Competitions Committee gave special dispensation for the Indian Super League (ISL) which will be played simultaneously with the I-League for six or seven months in 2017 and 2018 as a temporary short-term ‘bridging solution’.

AIFF’s recommendation to the AFC was that the ISL will replace the Federation Cup, whose winner is currently allocated an AFC Champions League Play-Off place AFC  Cup preliminary stage place.

Therefore, the Committee approved that the I-League champions will play in the AFC Champions League Play-off round and the ISL Champions will play in the AFC Cup preliminary stage – as long as all clubs adhere to the AFC rules and regulations, particularly club licensing, from 2018.

The situation will be reviewed on a yearly basis with conditions which, in addition to adherence to club licensing regulations, include promotion, production, a player allocation system and the following of the Road Map agreed between the AFC and Indian football stakeholders at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur on June 7, 2017.

Bengaluru FC to train in Spain ahead of AFC Cup clash

Bengaluru: A new-look Bengaluru FC side will kick off their pre-season training this week in the city before heading to Spain early next month for a 10-day training camp. The Blues will train at the state-of-the-art facilities at Pinatar Arena in Murcia during their stay in the Mediterranean region. Having finalized their squad on Sunday at the ISL Draft, Bengaluru FC Head Coach Albert Roca will now have an eye on the crucial AFC Cup Inter-Zonal semifinal against North Korean side April 25 SC as he prepares his squad for the first leg at home onAugust 23.

“The facilities at Pinatar Arena are top-class and I thank the management for providing us with this opportunity. The arena will provide us with everything we need to get up and running as fast as possible. Among all the other ISL teams, we’ll be in action first in the AFC Cup and it’s important that we utilize this time well so that our team settles in quickly. While we have managed to retain the core of our team, there are a lot of new signings which means that we need to put in that extra effort in pre-season to gel as a unit,” explained Roca.

During their stay, the Blues are set to face Spanish Segunda-B Division side UCAM Murcia CF (August 9) and 2016-17 UAE Pro League side Baniyas S&R(August 15) in friendly games.

The Blues base – the Pinatar Arena – boasts of six natural grass (Bermuda and ray grass) floodlit football pitches at FIFA standards with special areas designated for goalkeepers and a stadium with a capacity of 3,500 spectators that hosts friendlies and tournaments. The Arena also has top-class fitness centers with all the latest equipment from health and fitness innovators.

While the facility recently hosted an U21 tournament between national teams of Australia, Austria, Finland and Netherlands, they have regularly hosted training camps of top-flight clubs from all over Europe. A few of them include, German heavyweights Borussia Dortmund and FC Kaiserslautern, Spanish sides Levante UD and UD Almeria, Russian powerhouses CSKA Moscow and FC Zenit apart from Ulsan Hyundai (South Korea), FC Twente (Netherlands), Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) and Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine).

This will be the second time the Blues travel abroad for a pre-season training camp having earlier visited China at the start of the 2014-15 season. Back then, the Blues faced off against Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Guangzhou R&F FC (0-3) from the Chinese Super League and Hong Kong Premier League’s Eastern AA (0-2).

The 23-man team departs from India on August 5th and is scheduled to return on August 16th.