East Bengal net New Zealander Bertos as marquee player

Kolkata: East Bengal has signed New Zealand world cupper Leonida Christos "Leo" Bertos as the football side’s marquee player for the 2014-15 I-League.

The 32-year-old attacking midfielder, who played in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, has signed a two-year contract with East Bengal, club sources said.

Bertos started his club career with Wellington Olympic in 1997, and later turned out for English clubs Barnsley, Chester City, Rochdale and Scarborough.

He was with Wellington Phoenix, before joining East Bengal.

Bertos made his international debut in a New Zealand-Iran friendly in 2003, and won 52 caps for his country.

He provided the assist which enabled Rory Fallon to score the winner against Bahrain in the double-legged play off match which helped New Zealand qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

He turned out for all the three matches, his team played in the group stage opposite Slovakia (1-1), Italy (1-1) and Paraguay (0-0).

Incidentally, New Zealand remained the only unbeaten side in the 2010 World Cup.