Pune, Aug 23 (IANS) Indian Super League (ISL) franchise FC Pune City on Wednesday confirmed the signing of Spanish defender Rafael Lopez Gomez for the 2017-18 season.
The Spanish central defender, who played top-flight football in Spain and Germany, is expected to fortify the defence of the Antonio Habas-managed side.
“Rafa has played a decade of top-flight football in Spain against some of the best players in the world. As a captain of Real Valladolid, his leadership and experience as a defender will add strength to our line-up. I am excited to see Rafa in Orange and Purple,” FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said in a statement.
Rafa, a product of Real Valladolid’s youth system, represented the club’s senior team before moving on to SD Eibar in the second division.
In 2008, the defender joined Getafe CF in the Spanish top division and made 122 appearances for them over the next six years. Finishing sixth in the league to qualify for the UEFA Europa League in the 2009-10 season was the highlight of his stint there.
The Spaniard joined German club SC Paderborn in 2014 to ply his trade in the Bundesliga before reuniting with Valladolid in 2016.
“I am happy and very excited about my move to FC Pune City. The good work of ISL has come to this side of the world and, after speaking with some Spanish players and knowing the management of FC Pune City, I am prepared to take on this new challenge,” the 32-year-old said.
In 2016, Gomez returned to Real Valladolid making 19 appearances for the club. He had earlier figured 40 times from 2004 to 2008 for the La Liga side.