ISL Transfer Watch: Hyderabad FC sign Lluis Sastre from AEK Larnaca

A product of the famed La Masia academy, Sastre featured for FC Barcelona”s youth teams including a two-year stint with FC Barcelona B (2005-07).

“I’m very happy and excited to be able to play for Hyderabad FC in this season of the ISL. I’ve heard a lot of good things and I’m already looking forward to starting training and meeting my team-mates and the coach and working towards our goals,” Sastre told the club website.

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“I come to HFC with the desire to contribute with my experience and hard work, and help the team and have a good season to achieve good things for all our fans,” added the 34-year-old, who has also played for the Spanish Under-19 national team.

His impressive performances in the Segunda B saw him being signed by Real Zaragoza, from where he joined SD Huesca on loan initially before making a permanent move after a promotion-clinching season.

Sastre spent the next four years in northeast Spain before moving to La Liga side Real Valladolid in 2012.

Following a three-year spell with Valladolid, he moved to Leganes (2015-17), helping them to a promotion to La Liga, before achieving the same feat in his second spell with Huesca (2016-19).

He made his first overseas move in 2018-19 when he joined Larnaca, helping them to a runner-up finish in his maiden season there.

Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez, who has followed Sastre”s career closely, is confident about the qualities the Spaniard will bring in to the squad.

“We expect not just good football from Lluis, but experience and leadership will also be some of the things that he’ll bring to HFC,” said Marquez.

The seventh edition of the ISL will be held in Goa behind closed doors due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic enforced health protocols.

Goa to host ISL behind closed doors

Three three venues – Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda; GMC Athletic Stadium, Bambolim; and Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco — have been short-listed to host the event.

ISL 2020-21 promises to be one of the most intriguing seasons headlined by the introduction of Kolkata powerhouses ATK Mohun Bagan FC and East Bengal along with a rejuvenated City Football Group-led Mumbai City FC.

(With PTI/HFC Media inputs)

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