Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC have added more Spanish flavour to the side, signing winger Antonio Rodriguez Dovale for the 2017-18 campaign. Twenty-seven-year-old ‘Toni’, as he is widely known, joins Bengaluru FC from Spanish Segunda Division side Rayo Vallecano with whom he spent the 2016-17 season. He also becomes the third Spanish player in the side alongside Juanan Gonzalez and Dimas Delgado.
Born in A Coruña in Northern Spain, Toni spent his formative years at Obradoiro and FC Barcelona before joining Celta de Vigo in 2005 as a youth player. Two years later he was promoted to the reserve side before making his first team debut in the Segunda Divsion in 2009.
A brief loan spell at fellow Segunda Division side SD Huesca in 2010-11 was followed by a return to Celta, where he made 30 appearances helping the side achieve promotion to the La Liga at the end of the 2011-12 season. Over the next two years, Toni played an important role for Celta in the top-flight with the highlight being an impressive 9th place finish in the 2013-14 season.
Toni crossed the Atlantic in the year 2014 as he signed for Sporting Kansas City in the Major League Soccer (USA) where he helped the team reach the post-season play-offs. But he returned back to Spain with CD Lugo in 2014-15 before once again achieving promotion to the La Liga in the following season while playing for CD Leganes.
Having penned a one-year deal, Toni was eager to begin his journey at Bengaluru FC as soon as possible. “I am very excited about this new challenge in my career. I know I am coming to a big club and just can’t wait to start training to achieve our objectives this season. I have a good experience as a professional player, and I think that this is a step forward in my career which will be very important,” he said.
Toni was also excited with the prospect of playing in front of the Blues’ faithful, which he regards as a vital part of the club. “The fans are very important for us and I know that they are always supporting the club. I want to assure them that I will do my best to help the club achieve our goals for the season. I am feeling the good vibes and hope that this season will be a successful one,” he added.
Albert Roca, Bengaluru FC Head Coach, welcomed Toni into the Blues’ fold. “Antonio is a good young player and a crafty winger. Having played at the highest level in Spain, he brings in vital experience which will help us in the season ahead. He still wants to continue improving and his desire to learn will help him settle in quickly,” said Roca.