As per several reports, Indian Super League (ISL) title aspirants FC Goa have completed the signing of Spanish defender Ivan Gonzalez as a replacement for 36-year-old Carlos Pena who announced his retirement over the summer.
Born in Madrid, Gonzalez joined Real Madrid's youth setup in 2002 at the age of 12 from local club AD Parla and turned out for Real Madrid C from 2008-2012. Most recently, he was playing at Cultural Leonesa, a club where he has spent 4 years and also captained last season.
The 30-year-old has a strong presence on the field as well as in the dressing room, he’s good with his feet and his head and, most importantly, still has a few more years of football left in him.
Goa’s new coach Juan Ferrando believed that he would be the perfect fit in his team. Gonzalez had one year left on his contract, but with Leonesa failing to get promoted to Spanish Segunda division, he decided that it was time to test new waters. The ISL challenge, along with the opportunity to play in the AFC Asian Champions League (ACL) — a right FC Goa earned last season by finishing on top of the league table — prompted him to put pen to paper.
Goa, who are in a transition phase, are going about their transfer business quite aggressively since the window has opened. Gonzalez is their 3rd foriegn signing after Spaniards Igor Angulo and Jorge Ortiz Mendoza. Interestingly, Gonzalez has played with Ortiz at Cultural Leonesa (2018-19) and trained under Ferrando for a short spell during the 2015-16 season.