The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Hrithik Roshan co-owned Indian Super League club FC Pune City snapped Bruno Arias and Andre Bikey to strengthen their midfield options for the 2016 edition of the league. Both Bruno and Andre represented North East United FC in the 2015 ISL season.
FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel was excited with the two new recruits. “Bruno is one of the finest passers in ISL. His experience in anchoring the centre will be of great value to the team. Andre on the other hand is a strong character and has all round abilities to play according to the team’s needs. I’m sure all our young players will have a lot to learn from Bruno and Andre both," he said.
A product of Spanish club Sevilla FC youth system, Bruno made first-team appearances before joining Real Murcia who earned promotion to the La Liga. In 2013, he represented Buriram United in the Thai Premier League, where he won both league and cup with the side.
Bikey represented Cameroon in the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The centre-half, who can also play in midfield, started his career with Spanish side Espanyol, moved to Shinnik Yaroslavl in Russia before signing for Lokomotiv Moscow in 2005. He joined Reading on loan in 2006 before completing a permanent transfer a year later for £1m, making over 70 appearances for the Berkshire side.
Head coach Antonio Habas said, “Bruno always has had a powerful presence, competing for every ball, and putting his opponents under constant pressure. His ability with the ball to navigate it away from the opposition and feed it to the forwards is impeccable. Bikey adds depth to our defensive unit and as and when team needs, he is more than capable of slipping into the role of a midfielder too.”
Representing his third club in third ISL season, Bruno said, “I am thankful to FC Pune City for providing me a new challenge. Can’t wait to join Spanish manager (Antonio) Habas and others at FC Pune City. Fans can expect nothing less than 100 % from me.”
Andre Bikey was excited about his move to Pune. “I am thrilled to be a part of FC Pune City. It’s good to come back and play in this ever-growing league with a professional outfit like this. My efforts will be to ensure Orange Army has more reasons to cheer.”
Co-owner and Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan welcomed the addition of the two experienced hands. “Bruno brings that Spanish touch on the field with his immaculate passing. On the other hand, Andre brings the solidity and strength at the back. Their addition to our squad shows that we are determined to win," he said.
*Report courtesy FC Pune City media