Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Bengaluru sign Raphael Augusto and Ashique Kuruniyan

Bengaluru FC Media

Indian Super League champions Bengaluru FC have signed Brazilian midfielder Raphael Augusto and India National team player, versatile winger Ashique Kuruniyan. 

Raphael joins the club on a two-year deal that keeps him till the end of the 2020-21 season. Augusto, a native of Rio de Janeiro, becomes the sixth foreigner on Carles Cuadrat’s roster as Bengaluru begin their ISL title-defence on October 21 at home against NorthEast United.

The twenty-eight-year-old Raphael joins Bengaluru on the back of four seasons with Chennaiyin FC, with whom he has won the league twice. He also becomes the first Brazilian to wear the blue of Bengaluru. 

The Malappuram-born winger Ashique has signed a four-year deal with the reigning ISL champions and will feature for the Blues till the end of the 2022-23 season. 

Augusto expressed his delight on the move. "I am so happy to sign for a big team like Bengaluru FC. I was amazed in the manner in which the club fought tooth and nail to win the championship last season, and it's a good feeling to be a part of that team now. Bengaluru have a very good coach, a good set of players and some amazing fans and I’m sure together, all of us can win more titles for the club.”

Bengaluru boss, Cuadrat was all praise for Augusto. “I’d like to welcome Raphael, who is a two-time league winner, to the squad. We’re all aware of, and have seen the kind of talent he possesses. The onus is now on us to get the best out of an exceptional player like Raphael. We have a season that also includes Asian competition and a title-defence, and it’s going to take experience, talent and hard work to make it a successful one. I believe that Raphael brings all three attributes to the dressing room.”

Ashique, who completed formalities on a long-term deal, expressed his pleasure at completing a move he described as a dream. “I am really glad to have committed my future to a club like Bengaluru FC. Every young footballer in the country wants to play for BFC and I am happy to be able to realise this dream. I have a lot to learn from the senior players at the club, as well as the coaching staff and while I know that there is massive competition for places, I am confident and ready for the challenge,” said the youngster. 

Bengaluru FC Coach Carles Cuadrat said the addition of Ashique gives his squad the kind of depth it needs considering the Blues will be competing in Asia too, this season. “Ashique is the kind of player who can help us in both, attack and defence. His talent, pace and guile gives us the right kind of selection problems, but more importantly, gives us options. We’re playing the AFC Cup this season and it’s important that we add Indian talent to the squad for the continental campaign. We’re looking forward to have him join the club,” said Cuadrat.

Ashique becomes the sixth new signing for the Blues this season after Manuel Onwu, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Suresh Wangjam, Prabhsukhan Gill and Raphael Augusto. 

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