Midfielder Erik Paartalu has put pen to paper in a new two-year deal that keeps him with Bengaluru FC till end of the 2021-’22 season, the club announced on Monday. The Australian, in his three seasons at the club, has won the Indian Super League and the Super Cup, and said that Bengaluru FC’s desire to compete for, and win titles played a big role in getting him to extend his stay for another two seasons.
“Bengaluru has held a special place in my heart for the past three years. Every time I leave the city, I am somehow drawn back to it, whether it’s the football, the fans or the way of life. And I’ve decided to continue the journey for two more years at least.
“On the football front, the motivation from within the club to win titles and to be the best in the country cannot be matched by any other club. With that said, my decision was an easy one, once I had time to reflect. The players and staff were also a big factor in continuing what’s been a beautiful love story. I’ve made some amazing friends for life and our daily work ethic is something I hold close to me and it’s what motivates me to get up each day,” said Paartalu who is back home in Australia.
Paartalu has been a vital cog in Bengaluru’s midfield, lending his physical presence on both ends of the pitch while churning out consistent performances in the middle of the park. He played a big part in the Blues’ ISL title-winning season but an unfortunate injury saw him miss the end of the competition, including the final in Mumbai. The midfielder however, came back stronger from injury and was one of Carles Cuadrat’s go-to men through the Blues’ run-up to the semi-final of the ISL last season.
Bengaluru CEO, Mandar Tamhane said the decision to hand Paartalu a new contract wasn’t a tough one. He said: “Erik has been an important part of the BFC family over three seasons and we felt it was important that we extend his stay. He has been a thorough professional, always bringing 100% to the pitch – whether it be training or games, and we are glad that we will have two more seasons of him at Bengaluru.”
Paartalu’s extension comes after Udanta Singh signed a new three-year deal earlier this month.