FORMER BENGALURU FC PLAYER Antonio 'Toni' Rodriguez Dovale is back in India and this time he will don the jersey of East Bengal.
The 28 year old Spanish attacking medio - winger spent 3 years of his youth career at Barcelona, before signing for Celta and rising through the ranks to play for their first team, first in the Segunda Division then the La Liga, the Spanish top flight league.
He later spent a season with Kansas City at the USA's Major League Soccer before returning to the second tier Spanish League, playing for Lugo, Leganes and Rayo Vallecano.
He joined Bengaluru FC in 2017, and made 13 appearances in the ISL. He played a prominent part in BFC's AFC Cup 2017 campaign's latter stages where the Blues knocked out North Korean club April 25th SC before losing to Istiqlol. In the AFC Cup 2018 group stages, Dovale played 4 matches and scored 3 goals.
East Bengal, who have struggled in the early stages of I-League 2018-19, have signed Dovale as a replacement for Mahmoud Al-Amnah, the former Syrinan international who won the league with Aizawl FC and was playing out his second season with the Red and Golds. Recent injuries resulted him missing out on matches, and he has not made any league appearance for the club this season.
East Bengal, who have undergone a sea change in their approach to matches under new Spanish coach Alejandro Menendez, are slated to face arch rivals Mohun Bagan on Sunday in a massive Kolkata Derby clash where victory would mean a return to the title race, and a defeat could mean the end of title hopes.
Toni Dovale is expected to make his East Bengal debut on that very game.