Hyderabad: Indian Super League (ISL) side Hyderabad FC have signed 34-year-old Spanish defender Juan Antonio Gonzalez on a one-year deal, the club has announced.
The tall player, who was with Bengaluru FC for five years before joining Manuel Marquez’s side, began his senior career with Deportivo La Coruna in Spain, and spent time with the Real Madrid Castilla before moving to Germany in 2011.
He featured in the 2012/13 season of the Bundesliga with Fortuna Dusseldorf and has played in Hungary, USA and Spain before moving to India in 2016.
During his five-year stint in India, Gonzalez has won the Federation Cup (2017), Hero Super Cup (2018) and the Indian Super League (2018/19), apart from a runner-up finish in the 2016 AFC Cup. He also finished top of the ISL League Phase twice (2017/18 & 2018/19).
“Juanan’s (Gonzalez) experience is very important because we have very good young defenders in our team, and he can help them. Not too many players have played in India consistently over five seasons,” said Hyderabad FC head coach Marquez.
With 71 ISL appearances and five goals, Gonzalez will add valuable experience to the young squad at Hyderabad FC.
“I have spent a lot of time playing in India, and I hope I can help the younger players in the squad. As a defender, I like to always communicate with my teammates from the back. We have a right balance of youth and experience in our squad and I believe that not just me, but the other senior overseas and Indian players will help the youngsters develop and become a stronger unit,” said the Spaniard.
With Gonzalez, Hyderabad FC now have five overseas players who have played ISL in the past.
“From what I have seen in the ISL last season, it is very important to sign players who know about the league and its distinctive features. All our foreigners have experience from last season and we’ll need them as we look to manage every situation during the next season,” said Marquez.
Gonzalez becomes the third new foreign signing at Hyderabad FC joining Bartholomew Ogbeche and Edu Garcia.