Pune: The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Arjun Kapoor co-owned Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City today announced signing of Marko Stankovic and Manuel Jesus Ortiz Toribio "Lolo”. The two players will replace Damir Grgic and Robertino Pugliara in the FC Pune City squad, who are released.
FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “Marko comes with rich experience of playing for Austrian national team. He further strengthens our midfield. Lolo on the other hand brings with him a decade of playing in La Liga to solidify our defence. Winter transfers are more challenging in ISL as there are only 45 days left in the league stage. Marko and Lolo are physically in great shape. motivated, easy to gel and bring invaluable experience with them- making them perfect for FC Pune City squad."
Marko began his senior pro career with DSV Leoben back in 2003, spending four seasons and scoring 12 goals in 95 appearances. He went on to then represent SK Sturm Graz, U.S. Triestina Calcio and Austria Wien where he won the Austrian Bundesliga title and featured in the Europa League and UEFA Champions League in 2013-14 with the club.
Lolo, a product of the Sevilla FC’s youth system, represented club’s B team (2002-08) and main team(2008-10). He then moved to Malaga on loan. His stint with CA Osasuna was the longest in La Liga for him spending four seasons playing 98 matches and scoring five goals. Lolo will reunite with his FC Pune City coach Ranko Popovic under whom he played at Real Zaragoza in 2014-15 season.
Head coach Ranko Popovic was happy to have the two players on board. “Lolo comes in with solid defensive skills. He can play as a centre back and also as a defensive midfielder. Marko, on the other hand, fits perfectly into our plans for the season bringing in energy and creativity in the midfield. They are experienced players and they will quickly adapt themselves to the Indian conditions and the style of football that we play. I believe both will play an important role for us in the second phase of the League.”