In their quest for the title in the 3rd season of the Indian Super League, Atlético de Kolkata have announced that the marquee player for the forthcoming season would be the iconic Portuguese striker Hélder Postiga. The club have also managed to retain the services of Borja Fernandez and Javi Lara.
A Portuguese international footballer since 2003, Postiga has represented his country in two World Cups and three European Championships, helping the nation reach the final of Euro 2004. Postiga made a resounding entry as the youngest marquee player in the second season of the ISL, and although, it was cut short due to a grave injury, he created a lasting impact in the minds of his Indian fans in the opening game of the season, where he scored twice in a 3–2 win versus Chennaiyin FC.
The team management has also announced the retention of two key players in the team ranks, Borja Fernández and Javi Lara, who played stellar roles in taking ATK to greater heights on the field. The team management also announced the signing of left back Keegan Pereira on loan from Bengaluru FC and left winger Abinash Ruidas on loan from East Bengal.
“On behalf of the team management, we welcome home Postiga within the Atlético de Kolkata family for the second time as our marquee player for the 2016 season of ISL. Postiga has been in electrifying form and fitness and his sheer ability to score goals made us go back to him and seal the deal. The red and white brigade fans were unfortunate to miss his on-field camaraderie with our Indian players and skills last season owing to his injury. But this year the ATK management feels that it will be an altogether different sight to see him charge with the ball. We would also like to thank Atlético de Madrid for their support in recruiting the International Players,”
Postiga recently played in the Primeira Liga for the top flight team Rio Ave F.C in Portugal, and he helped his side qualify for the Europa League by scoring 5 goals in 11 appearances. Postiga’s career was shaped up at FC Porto's youth teams when he joined the squad in 1998, and he continued to progress ever since. Postiga has also played in Spanish club Deportivo de La Coruña as a striker. Having significant experience in the European football circuit, Postiga has also played for clubs like Porto, Valencia, Lazio, Sporting Lisbon, and Premier League Club Tottenham Hotspur.
”Postiga is a big name for any team and his presence will definitely bolster the team for the season ahead and also allow the Indian and International players to learn from him about the way he goes about preparing for a major tournament like ISL. He has been playing good football of late and we hope he will be in his finest form once he is in India. Along with Postiga the presence of Borja and Javi will add fervour to the midfield. Borja had been the mainstay for the team’s midfield and orchestrated many moves which yielded positive results in the last two seasons. I am enthusiastic with two more Indian players like Keegan and Abinash who will be donning our colours and eagerly looking forward to the pre-season now in Spain,”
Report Courtesy: © Atlético de Kolkata media