ISL 2020-21 : Bengaluru FC rope in Pratik Chaudhari and Lalthuammawia Ralte

Pratik Chaudhari at Mumbai FC.
Pratik Chaudhari at Mumbai FC.
Modified 03 Jun 2020

Indian Super League (ISL) side Bengaluru FC have announced the arrival of defender Pratik Chaudhari and goalkeeper Lalthuammawia Ralte to the club on two-year deals on Wednesday. Chaudhari was with Mumbai City FC last season while Ralte had a season-long loan stint with East Bengal FC from FC Goa.

Chaudhari brings experience to Bengaluru FC defence

Chaudhari started out in departmental sides in Mumbai with Bank of India and Union Bank of India in the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) Leagues. He penned his first professional contract with Air India based out of Mumbai in the 2011-12 I-League season. After two seasons in I-League with National Flight Carrier, Chaudhari joined his first professional football club in Rangdajied United in Shillong.

Chaudhari joined Mohun Bagan and was officially registered with the I-League winning squad but failed to make a single appearance for the Mariners due to personal commitments.

Chaudhari returned to Mumbai with Essel Group-owned Mumbai FC (now defunct) in the I-League and delivered his best performance. He played 13 games for the Yellow Brigade and earned his first move to the cash-rich Indian Super League with another yellow-outfit in Kerala Blasters.

However, due to lack of game time in Kochi, he returned to Mumbai FC before venturing out to the ISL again. He played a season each for Delhi Dynamos FC (now defunct) and Jamshedpur FC before joining the newest football club from Mumbai, Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League.

Chaudhari's move to Mumbai City in the 2019-20 season was a revelation as he played 17 games for the Islanders and also scored a goal, impressing other clubs in the process. Chaudhari joins Bengaluru FC after the expiry of his contract at Mumbai City. Chaudhari's move to Bengaluru FC will strengthen Bengaluru's defensive prowess.

''It's always a nice feeling when you find out that one of the best clubs in the country is interested in you and I'm extremely glad that this deal has gone through. I hope to contribute to the team in any way that I can, and the opportunity to play among some of the best Indian and foreign players in the League is something I am excited about'', said Chaudhari.

Homecoming for Ralte

Lalthuammawia Ralte in the AFC Cup 2015 Final.
Lalthuammawia Ralte in the AFC Cup 2015 Final.

Lalthuammawia Ralte needs no introduction when it comes to his move to Bengaluru FC. Ralte was with Bengaluru FC during the inception of the club in the 2013-14 season. Ralte made his first move to Bengaluru FC after three seasons at Shillong Lajong from the 2010-11 I-League season.

He spent a season at NorthEast United on loan during his first stint in Bengaluru FC. He moved to FC Goa in the 2018-19 season but failed to stay at the club with two consecutive loan deals at Kerala Blasters and East Bengal FC.

Ralte is known for being the last-minute replacement for Bengaluru FC in the 2015 AFC Cup Final against Air Force Club, Iraq. Ralte's move to Bengaluru FC will be a key factor for the club to invoke the familiarity and team spirit of the yesteryears.

''I only have fond memories of my time here in Bengaluru and returning to the club for a second stint is something that I am very happy about. Apart from the fact that I will be in a team that is hungry to win, I have a bond with the city and the fans and that is something that I look forward to returning to'', said Ralte.
Published 03 Jun 2020
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