BFC signs Paartalu, retains Johnson and Gonzalez

Paartalu turned out for Brisbane Roar in Australia's A-League and the AFC Champions League before stints at Melbourne City and South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

Erik Paartalu, the tall, 31-year-old defensive midfielder, last represented Qatari side Al Kharaitiyat.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Bengaluru FC has strengthened its foreign contingent ahead of a new season of football, signing Australian midfielder Erik Paartalu besides retaining defenders Juanan Gonzalez and John Johnson. All three have signed season-long deals, the club announced here on Wednesday.

Paartalu turned out for Brisbane Roar in Australia's A-League and the AFC Champions League before stints at Melbourne City and South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. The tall, 31-year-old defensive midfielder, who has made two appearances for the Australian senior team, last represented Qatari side Al Kharaitiyat.

“I was really excited by the Bengaluru FC project," Paartalu said. "Indian football is getting bigger and bigger. 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.”

Paartalu believed his experience in AFC competition would help BFC in its inter-zone semifinal in the AFC Cup against North Korean side 4.25 SC (August 23).

“I've played in a lot of countries in Asia so that experience is invaluable when it comes to playing games on different continents with short turnarounds," he said.

BFC coach Albert Roca said: “A lot of things change for us this season and experience is what will play a key role during this phase. Erik brings that kind of experience with him and I’m certain he will be a vital figure at Bengaluru FC.”