ISL 2021-22: East Bengal signs former Lazio centre-back Franjo Prce

Prce has last played for Slaven Belupo Koprivnica in the first division of the Croatian League.

(REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE) SC East Bengal has been very active in the transfer market after the decision that it will continue to play in ISL this season.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Croatian U-21 national team stopper Franjo Prce signed up for SC East Bengal on Wednesday, making him red and gold brigade's third foreign recruit.

Prce, who has played a match for Lazio senior team, joined East bengal from Croatian club NK Slaven Belupo.

Slovenian midfielder Amir Dervišević and Tomislav Mrcela are the two overseas recruits.

"I have played with some of the big names in world football and it has helped me grow on and off the field. I think I can use my experience here in the ISL and try to help my team do well," he said.

"I am eagerly waiting to experience India and I also know this club has a massive fan base. It’s a shame that they can't be with us in the stands but we will play for them. We always play for the fans."

At Lazio, Prce shared the locker room with the likes of former Germany striker Miroslav Klose and Ciro Immobile who helped Italy win the European Championships earlier this year.

Inter Milan centre-back Stefan de Vrij was also with Lazio during that time as was Italy's Antonio Candreva and Lucas Biglia of Argentina.

Born in Čapljina in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Prce started his career with the youth academy of Croatian club Hajduk Split.

After his stint in Italy, Prce moved to Croatian club Istra 1961 again on a loan deal before shifting base to Cyprus where he turned out for AC Omonia.

ALSO READ | ISL 2021-22: Star A-League defender Tomislav Mrcela joins SC East Bengal

Prce also had spells with FC Karpaty Lviv in Ukraine besides playing for NK Varaždin and NK Slaven Belupo at home in Croatia.

Prce was included in the Croatian under-17 team for the 2013 UEFA European Under-17 Championships. He also featured for the team in the 2013 FIFA under17 World Cup.

Prce is a no-nonsense defender who will add to the squad’s experience despite being only 25 years of age. The six foot tall footballer is well travelled and has played with and against the best.

SC East Bengal takes on Jamshedpur FC in its opening game of the Hero Indian Super League 2021-22 season, on November 21 at the Tilak Maidan. 

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