Bengaluru: A fresh challenge beckons Bengaluru FC, who make their debut in the Indian Super League against Mumbai City FC on Sunday.
The two-time I-League champions are aiming to stamp their authority in the tournament, and goals will play a key role in success. Enter Miku — the Venezuelan goal-getter who is raring to make his mark in his first season with the Blues.
The striker was brought in from Spain’s second division side Rayo Vallecano on a two-year deal as part of their annual squad reshuffle, but he’s not just here to make up the numbers.
The 6-foot, 1-inch target man boasts a wealth of experience, plying his trade at clubs like Valencia, Getafe and Celtic.
“This league is growing. There are players in the league who I’ve faced before in La Liga like Adrian Colunga (FC Goa and ex-Getafe team -mate), Rafa Lopez (FC Pune City) and Toni (Antonio Dovale – Bengaluru FC) from Rayo Vallecano. This is a great opportunity for me,” said the 32-year-old.
Being the first South American player at the club, Miku initially found life away from his wife and three daughters in Spain to be difficult. But with five other Spanish speakers in the squad, the settling-in process has proven easier than he first feared.
A Scottish League and Cup double winner with Celtic, Miku has Champions League and Europa League feathers in his cap too.
A full-fledged international with 51 caps and 11 goals for his country, Miku hit the ground running with two goals in as many pre-season friendlies against Minerva Punjab and East Bengal.
While coach Albert Roca has tasked Miku with lifting the pressure off star striker Sunil Chhetri, the Caracas-born finisher was thrilled to be linking up with Bengaluru’s main man.
“Chettri’s a top player. I know I need him, and he knows he needs me. The coach said to us that if you can play together, we can have more quality. During training, I don’t need to say anything. I only run, and I know the ball is coming.”...