ISL 2017: FC Pune City sign former Getafe defender Rafael Lopez Gomez

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The 32-year-old has defended against the likes of Lionel Messi, Diego Costa and Radamel Falcao in the La Liga

The Indian Super League (ISL)'s Pune franchise, FC Pune City have announced the signing of Spanish centre back Rafael Lopez Gomez or 'Rafa' for the upcoming season.

Rising from the ranks of Real Valladolid's youth system and the club's B side, Rafa has plied his trade in the top divisions of Spain and Germany. He joined the newly promoted Bundesliga outfit SC Paderborn in 2014 before returning to the Valladolid fold in 2016. 

He was sent on loan to Eibar during his first stint at Valladolid and subsequently amassed more than a hundred appearances with Getafe where he mostly played as a left back and qualified for the UEFA Europa League.

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Commenting on the signing, FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “Rafa has played a decade of top-flight football in Spain against some of the best players in the world. As a captain of Real Valladolid, his leadership and experience as a defender will add strength to our line-up. I am excited to see Rafa in Orange & Purple.”

“I am happy and very excited about my move to FC Pune City. The good work of ISL has come to this side of the world and, after speaking with some Spanish players and knowing the management of FC Pune City, I am prepared to take on this new challenge,” expressed Rafa.

Head coach Antonio Habas will hope to garner the most from the Spaniard's vast experience at the top level in adding steel to his team's defence.

After it was reported by Goal, Pune City did eventually confirm the signings of Marcos Tebar, Marcelinho and Emiliano Alfaro among the club's foreign recruits.

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