THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

FC Pune City sign up Argentine defender Diego Colotto

Diego Colotto
Diego Colotto

Picture courtesy: FC Pune City via Facebook

The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Hrithik Roshan co-owned Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City added further steel to their defensive line up signing former Espanyol and Deportiva La Coruna central defender Diego Colotto for the 2015 edition of the league. The 32-year-old played an instrumental role in Cardiff City’s runners up campaign in the 2008 FA Cup.

FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “I am thrilled that we have completed the signing of Diego. Diego was one of the best centre backs in the world available on free transfer. He has been performing at the highest level at La Liga since the last three years at Espanyol and prior to that at Deportiva La Coruna. With the signing of Diego coupled with Roger Johnson, Nickey Shorey and five other domestic players, I am now confident of our defence line.”

Colotto has been a top performer for La Liga side Espanyol in the last 3 years making close to 100 appearances for them. Prior to that, Colotto was an integral part of the Deportivo La Coruna team whom he joined in 2008. Since then he has made a combined 159 appearances in top flight Spanish league during which he was widely regarded as one of the best centre backs in Spain.

In 2008, Colotto signed for Deportivo de La Coruña in Spanish La Liga. In his first season, he scored twice against SK Brann in the first round of the UEFA Cup. His brace – two headers from corner kicks – took the game to extra time and an eventual penalty shootout, where his side prevailed to reach the group stage.

Colotto expressed his excitement joining the ISL with FC Pune City. “It’s a new world for me. FC Pune City have lined up an exciting squad with a great mix of experience and youth and David Platt at the helm. I hope my experience will be of great use to the boys in the side,” said the Argentine defender.

The centre-back also was part of the Argentine youth team that competed at the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship in Argentina. During the tournament, Colotto played all the games for the eventual winners, scoring the opener in final against Ghana (3–0).

Head Coach, David Platt said, “Diego has spent last seven years in La Liga with just two clubs showing he has consistency and reliability that are characteristics we were looking for to close our defensive line up of players. I am looking forward to him meeting up with the rest of the squad so we can include him in our preparations.”

Co-owner Hrithik Roshan was excited with the Argentine’s addition. “Diego will further add strength to our defense. His experience of playing in Spanish LA Liga and Argentina’s Primera Division will be of great value to the youngsters in the team. We are excited to have him in our team,” said Hrithik.

After securing a host of attacking options upfront, Colotto is another asset to the FC Pune City defensive line up which has been carefully assembled by head coach David Platt. He becomes ninth signing for this season following the stellar arrivals of Adrian Mutu, Didier Zokora, Tuncay Sanli, Yendrick Ruiz among familiar English players like Nicky Shorey, Steve Simonsen, James Bailey and Roger Johnson. Colotto will soon join the squad in Turkey where the team is currently training for their preseason.