Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Bengaluru FC have signed versatile Brazilian striker Cleiton Silva on a one-year deal with the club having the option to extend it by another year, the Blues announced on Saturday.
The 33-year-old footballer, who started his career with Brazilian side Madureira, moved to Thailand where he spent a better part of the decade playing for Muangthong United and Suphanburi, apart from stints in Mexico and China.
Silva, who also operates on the wing, became the first foreign player to reach the 100-goal mark in Thailand and finished top scorer of the Thai League 1 for two seasons. He also tops the charts of the all-time leading scorers of the League. His biggest success came at Muangthong where he racked up 57 goals in 79 appearances and won three major trophies in as many seasons at the club.
The Brazilian, who was in talks with the Blues last season before the deal didn’t materialise, said he was glad to have finally made the move. “I’ve signed with Bengaluru FC because I want to be a champion and this is a club that is always after titles. I have that opportunity once again at BFC. I want to make the club and its fans happy," he said.
"I have been following the club for some time now, because we were in talks a while ago. And I liked what I saw. I am looking forward to making my way to Bengaluru and am excited to meet my new teammates, the fans and embrace the city,” said Silva.
Silva becomes Bengaluru’s first new foreign signing of the season after the club had handed extended deals to Juanan Gonzalez, Dimas Delgado and Erik Paartalu.
Bengaluru FC coach Carles Cuadrat said Silva’s addition was an important one, given his penchant for scoring. “Cleiton has a proven track-record when it comes to scoring and this is an area we needed to strengthen on the squad. The goals aside, he even has an eye for a quality final pass and we’re looking forward to working with him.”
“Cleiton is a player we had been tracking closely through last season and even Carles was of the opinion that we should bring him to Bengaluru when the chance arises. We’re glad that things fell in place and that he is now part of our charge for the coming season,” said club CEO, Mandar Tamhane.