Bengaluru, July 5 (IANS) After retaining Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh, Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Bengaluru FC on Wednesday signed Australian midfielder Erik Paartalu on a season-long deal.
Bengaluru also retained defender Juanan Gonzalez, who will join coach John Johnson for another season at the heart of Bengaluru’s defence.
Sydney-born Paartalu began his career in the National Soccer League, now the A-League, with Northern Spirit.
His stints in Australia included three seasons with Brisbane Roar when they played AFC Champions League football.
At Brisbane, Paartalu won two Championships and one Premiership and played 85 consecutive matches while setting an Australian record of any sporting code with an unbeaten streak of 36 games.
Paartalu moved to Chinese side Tianjin TEDA FC in 2013 before switching to Thailand with Muangthong United the following year.
He was also part of South Korean side Jeonbuk Hyundai for a brief period in the season that side went on to win the AFC Champions League.
The midfielder earned his first senior national team cap in 2012, playing in a World Cup Qualifier for the ‘Socceroos’ against Saudi Arabia.
“I was really excited by the Bengaluru FC project because it is a club that’s doing really well for itself in an expanding market. Indian football is getting bigger and bigger. It felt like the right project to get involved with.”
“I spoke with Cameron Watson and he sold it to me in terms of where the club is. They’ve been very successful in the last four years and are looking to make major steps in the Indian Super League,” said Paartalu.