ISL 2017: FC Pune City announce signing of Spanish defender Rafa Lopez
What's the story?
FC Pune City have done some serious business for the upcoming ISL season as the signings of Emiliano Alfaro and Marcelino have made the Stallions' attack one of the best in the country. With one end of the field sorted, FC Pune City have now done brilliantly to shore up their defence by signing the 32-year-old Spanish defender, Rafa Lopez Gomez.
The centre-back played in Spain's second division for Real Valladolid last season and is set to be a sure shot starter for head coach Antonio Habas.
FC Pune City announced their latest acquisition on social media platforms with their tweet reading, "Adding another solid brick to our #StallionsOf2017 wall, the Spanish bull, Rafael Lopez Gomez is all set to enthrall!"
In case you didn't know...
Lopez becomes Pune's fourth foreign signing this summer. He follows the likes of Marcelino, Alfaro and Marcos Tebar to play for the Stallions in ISL 4. Habas is known to play a three at the back formation and all his former teams have had a solid back line. Signing Lopez is a big statement from the Pune ownership in having a strong backline.
The heart of the matter
Lopez is a product of the Real Valladolid Academy and played the 2016-17 season for his local side. He made 16 starts for the Pucela. This is his second stint for Valladolid after spending four formative years of his career with his local club. But his longest stay and his most convincing performances came in the La Liga with Getafe. Lopez spent six years with the Spanish side and made 122 appearances in total. He also scored three goals for them during his stay.
The 2017-18 ISL season kicks off on 17th November and Pune City will look to mount a title challenge this time out following three indifferent campaigns where they failed to finish in the top four in the league phase. With exciting new signings, the Stallions will hope to kick on and land a playoff place in the forthcoming season.
FC Pune City are looking stronger than ever before with each passing day and the signing of Lopez has reaffirmed their tag of being one of the favourites for the upcoming ISL season.
Coach Habas will be mightily pleased by the foreign signings that the club have managed to seal so far before the league commences. Along with a dream attacking duo of Alfaro and Marcelino, the Stallions now have a robust central defender in Rafa.