The Spaniard was one of the most important players in the Mariners’ I-League title-winning campaign last season.
After a brief period of uncertainty surrounding his future, Spaniard Fran Gonzalez has finally parted ways with Mohun Bagan. The player himself announced the decision via social media on Sunday morning.
“It’s time to say good bye. You already know it’s not the way how I wanted to do it but honestly I just can say thanks! Thanks to Mohun Bagan AC to give me the chance to discover such an amazing city and country, thanks to my teammates, coaching staff and every single worker who help me to perform as I did it. And of course, thanks to all the Mariners to make me feel at home. Since the very beginning, I had promised you the championship and today it’s yours,” he wrote.
“Definitely, I would like you to remember me as a good human being. Just a humble warrior who fought on and off the pitch to make you feel proud of us. Sadly football became a business but our passion will last forever. I love you so much!”
After working with numerous Spanish clubs including Almeria, Lucena, Deportivo de La Coruna, Real Zaragoza, Cordoba and Hercules, Fran Gonzalez played for Cypriot club Ermis Aradippou. He also plied his trade for Thai side Pattaya United (now Samut Prakan City FC), Poland-based Bytovia Bytow and Hong Kong club Lee Man, before signing with Mohun Bagan ahead of the 2019-20 season. He went on to play 20 times for the Mariners, including all 16 of their games in the I-League.
Primarily a defensive midfielder by trade, Bagan’s then head coach Kibu Vicuna also deployed Gonzalez as a centre-back, left midfielder and central midfielder in a few matches. The 31-year-old did not disappoint him, as he turned in 10 goals and an assist to play a very important part in their title-winning run. A few months later, the club merged with Indian Super League (ISL) champions ATK, with the new entity (ATK Mohun Bagan) gaining entry into the Indian top flight ahead of the 2020-21 season.
The new club retained some of Mohun Bagan’s players like Sk Sahil, Subha Ghosh and so on, while others like Fran Morante, Joseba Beitia, VP Suhair and Komron Tursunov were forced to look elsewhere. While Gonzalez was likely to be part of the latter group, he himself revealed last month that he was yet to receive any intimation from Mohun Bagan regarding his future, despite having a year left on his contract.
Khel Now understands that Kibu Vicuna, who is currently the head coach of Kerala Blasters, was interested in roping the Spaniard for his new club, but the player was keen to resolve his situation with the Green and Maroon before seeking other options elsewhere. He was also more interested to be a part of ATK Mohun Bagan – but given his latest announcement, it seems that his wish has not come true, at least for the upcoming season.