Australian defensive midfielder Eric Partaalu signed a contract extension with Bengaluru FC, the Indian Super League (ISL) club announced on Monday.
Paartalu, who joined the Blues back in 2017, committed his future with the club until the end of 2021-22 season as he signed a new two year deal. “Bengaluru has held a special place in my heart for the past three years. Every time I leave the city, I am somehow drawn back to it, whether it’s the football, the fans or the way of life. And I’ve decided to continue the journey for two more years at least,” he said in a statement.
“On the football front, the motivation from within the club to win titles and to be the best in the country cannot be matched by any other club. With that said, my decision was an easy one, once I had time to reflect. The players and staff were also a big factor in continuing what’s been a beautiful love story. I’ve made some amazing friends for life and our daily work ethic is something I hold close to me and it’s what motivates me to get up each day,” Paartalu added.
⚡Cue the thunder and lightning! Erik Paartalu's put hammer to paper on a fresh two-year deal, which will keep him in Bengaluru blue till the end of the 2021-2022 season. 🔵🔥#WeAreBFC #RoomForMore #Paartalu2022 pic.twitter.com/Cwf4hRJtOq
— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) March 30, 2020
The 33-year-old has been a rock in Bengaluru’s midfield and was a key figure of the 2018–19 Indian Super League season winning squad where he played for most of the season before sustaining a muscle injury.
Initially, Paartalu or Big E, as he is fondly called by fans, had joined on a one year deal before signing a two-year extension in 2018. In the recently concluded season, he featured in 17 matches, scoring two goals and assisting five times.
The former Melbourne City FC player also helped out his teammates in defence, making 44 tackles, 33 interceptions and 77 clearances. And all this while, he had a high passing success rate of 76.63%. Although Bengaluru could not meet the high bar set by themselves this season, Paartalu was one of those who stood out.
Unsurprisingly, the team management did not waste time in convincing him to put pen to paper. Paartalu’s extension comes after Udanta Singh signed a new three-year deal earlier this month.
Like every other club, the Blues are also planning ahead for the upcoming season. With the league undergoing certain changes, it is vital for clubs to hold on to their core group and Bengaluru seem to have a step in the right direction.