Indian Super League champions Bengaluru FC have signed Brazilian midfielder Raphael Augusto on a two-year deal that keeps him with the Blues till the end of the 2020-’21 season, the club announced on Saturday.
Augusto becomes the sixth foreigner on Carles Cuadrat’s roster as Bengaluru begin their ISL title-defence on October 21 at home against NorthEast United.
The 28-year-old joins Bengaluru after four seasons with Chennaiyin FC, with whom he has won the league twice. He also becomes the first Brazilian to wear the blue of Bengaluru.
Augusto expressed his delight on the move. “I was amazed in the manner in which the club fought tooth and nail to win the championship last season. Bengaluru have a good coach, a good set of players and some amazing fans and I’m sure all of us can win more titles for the club.”
A midfielder with his fair share of flair, Augusto has an imposing presence on the pitch and his technical nous in the middle of the park, stands out. The Blues’ latest addition will only go on to strengthen an already solid midfield that comprises Erik Paartalu, Dimas Delgado and Eugeneson Lyngdoh.
Bengaluru boss, Cuadrat was all praise for Augusto. “We’re all aware of, and have seen the kind of talent he possesses. The onus is now on us to get the best out of an exceptional player like Raphael. We have a season that also includes Asian competition and a title-defence, and it’s going to take experience, talent and hard work to make it a successful one. I believe that Raphael brings all three attributes to the dressing room.”
In his spell with Chennaiyin, Augusto turned out 68 times for the club and scored seven goals. He becomes Bengaluru’s fifth new signing ahead of the season after the Blues got on board Manuel Onwu, Lyngdoh, Suresh Wangjam and Prabhsukhan Gill.
ATK sign Dheeraj, Sehnaj
Former champions ATK announced the signing Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem and Sehnaj Singh for the upcoming season.
Goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh was given a five-year contract, while central midfielder Sehnaj was signed for one year, the Kolkata franchise said in a statement.
In the 2018-’19 ISL season, Dheeraj represented Kerala Blasters and was widely praised for his technique and skill. Sehnaj Singh is one of the young domestic talents who came through the Gurdaspur Football Academy and the Chandigarh Football Academy.
He played for Indian Arrows in the I-League and was then with Mohun Bagan in their triumphant 2014-’15 season. Sehnaj was drafted to play for Delhi Dynamos for the 2015 ISL. He has also represented Mumbai City FC in ISL. This time he will be seen balancing the midfield with ATK.
Lalhmangaihsanga Ralte, popularly known as Sena Ralte, Arindam Bhattacharya and Komal Thatal’s contracts have been renewed by ATK. Ralte has been retained for a year, Bhattacharya for three years and Thatal for two years. Head coach Antonio Lopez Habas will commence training of the squad from September 2.