Mumbai: The champions of the inaugural Indian Super League (ISL) in 2014, Atletico de Kolkata have already signed two Spaniards — custodian Daniel Mallo Castro (Dani) and defender Pablo Jose Gallardo Zuerra for the upcoming third season of the league commencing in September.
The Kolkata franchise has already roped in Stephen Pearson, who turned out for Kerala Blasters in the last season. Pearson would join the squad after his finishes with his assignment in the Scottish Premier League.
“While developing the nucleus of the team this year, the team management has rightly retained some seasoned performers and now invested on three exciting talents. We are slowly building the side with the right combinations, while Pearson had tasted success in ISL earlier it will be new turf for Dani and Pablo and I am sure their talent will be appreciated by the ATK fans,” Atletico de Kolkata head coach Jose Molina was quoted as saying by football website Goal.com.
Dani was contracted with Spanish second division club Albacete Balompi before signing for the Kolkata based side. The 37-year-old goalkeeper was also the third-choice goalie for Deportivo de La Coruna before turning out for Portuguese side SC Braga in the 2006-07 season having represented the club in Purtuguese championships and UEFA Cups.
A relatively younger Pablo launched his youth career with Spanish side Sevilla and represented the Sevilla B team as a senior player. The 30-year-old was contracted with Hong Kong club Dreams Metro Gallery FC.
With these inclusions, the former ISL champions have 12 domestic and seven foreign recruits in their ranks so far.