Bengaluru FC, on Tuesday, announced the signings of Norwegian striker Kristian Opseth and versatile Spanish centre-back Francisco ‘Fran’ Gonzalez and ahead of the 2020-21 Indian Super League campaign, scheduled to begin in November. Having announced the departures of Brazilian midfielder Raphael Augusto and Spanish defender Alberto Serran, the duo completes Bengaluru’s allocation for foreigners in the squad.
Opseth, who stands at 6’2’’, started his career at Kaupanger IL in Norway, before stints at Førde, Sogndal and Bodø/Glimt FC in the Norwegian Divisions. The 30-year-old spent the 2018-19 season in Turkey with Erzurumspor before his most recent stint in the A-League with Adelaide United.
“I’m really excited by this new challenge. The Indian Super League is growing and getting better with each year. Hopefully I can contribute to take that level higher. I can’t wait to arrive in Goa and meet my new teammates and get started because I think we can do great things together. I got a good feeling after speaking to the coach (Carles Cuadrat) and the fact that Bengaluru is always a strong competitor for the title triggered the wanting to come,” said Opseth, after putting pen to paper on a season-long deal.
While the Norwegian is new to Indian football, fellow signing Fran Gonzalez is no stranger to the land, having plied his trade with Mohun Bagan in their title-winning 2019-20 I-League campaign. The Spaniard – who has had stints in Cyprus, Thailand, Poland and Hong Kong – scored 10 goals for the Mariners last term, and was joint-second highest goalscorer in the I-League.
“After only one season in India, I realised how big Bengaluru FC is as a club. I’m excited to face this new challenge with a top side and a great group of teammates and coaching staff. It will be a different season for sure, staying in Goa without our fans, but I am sure that we can be successful together. I can’t wait to begin!” said Gonzalez, after completing formalities on a one-year deal.
Coach Carles Cuadrat said the signings of Opseth and Gonzalez would lend solidity to an already strong squad. “The additions of Kristian and Fran to the squad for this season makes us a very competitive team and that’s what we at Bengaluru FC strive to be season after season. Fran has won a title last season, and is familiar with Indian conditions. Meanwhile, Kristian is a proven goalscorer and along with Deshorn Brown and Cleiton Silva, he gives us the confidence we need in attack.”