What's the story?
Bengaluru FC have confirmed the signing of their third new foreign signing for the 2017/18 Indian Super League in Spaniard Antonio Rodriguez Dovale, also known as Toni.
The 27-year-old follows Erik Paartalu and Dimas Delgado as the new recruits for Bengaluru this summer. He will join John Johnson and Juanan in the club's contingent of foreign players.
The ISL is set to be a ten-team event this year and will run for five months instead of the earlier three. Bengaluru, along with Tata Jamshedpur, are the among the new teams in the forthcoming season of the ISL.
The heart of the matter
The acquisition of Toni suggests that Bengaluru FC will have a strong Spanish flavour to their side next season. Toni has played in La Liga in the past with Celta Vigo and last turned out for Rayo Vallecano in the Segunda Division last season.
Toni started out at local Galician clubs and soon joined Barcelona's youth team. He moved on from Barca during his youth days and has since played in the Major League Soccer with Sporting Kansas City, for which Indian national team captain Sunil Chhetri also played earlier.
Bengaluru have set out to strengthen their side before the deadline to submit names for the latter stages of the AFC Cup. The Blues take on North Korean outfit April 25 Sports Club in the inter-zonal semi-finals next month and Albert Roca is slowly completing his squad.
Having been stripped of their major Indian players due to the ISL draft, Bengaluru have retained only Chhetri and Udanta Singh from their squad of last season. Having bought three players already this summer, Roca is clear about his priorities.
Bengaluru FC's third foreign signing of the summer suggests that the club mean business this season. That said, whether Toni can be as influential as the likes of Alvaro Rubio and Juanan remains to be seen, but the early summer business will stand the club in good stead for next season's ISL.
Published 17 Jul 2017, 18:27 IST