Former Melbourne Victory midfielder Carlos Hernandez has sealed his move to big-spending I-League club Prayag United.
Having finished seventh last season, the acquisition of Hernandez – a member of Costa Rica’s 2006 World Cup squad – is the latest addition for Sanjoy Sen’s Kolkata-based side.
In their bid to challenge for the league title and an AFC Cup spot, United have already paid huge amounts to secure the signing of the likes of Ranti Martins, Subrata Paul, Gouramangi Moirangthem.
Hernandez left Victory at the end of the 2011-12 season, having spent five years at the A-League powerhouse, where he won the Johnny Warren medal as best player for a dominant 2009-10 season.
A fan favourite and capable of the spectacular, he criticised the club’s professionalism after the two parties failed to agree on a new deal at the end of the last campaign.
Hernandez’s work rate and playing weight did come under scrutiny during his time in Melbourne, but he believes he ‘proved everyone wrong’ with his performances.
“I had some differences with the team management (at Victory). We could not reach an agreement over an issue,” said Hernandez to reporters at his unveiling on Thursday, admitting ‘money was a big factor’ in his move.
“There were several offers from other clubs. But I always wanted to come play in India. Apart from United SC, there were two other Indian clubs who showed interest. I think they disagreed with Melbourne Victory on the transfer fee.
“But United SC were very patient. They sorted out all the issues and made a very good offer.
“I really liked their approach and their proposal. Their blueprint for the 2012-13 season really impressed me.
“I know they didn’t win any trophies last season. So, it will be a challenge for me to win titles for them.”
Hernandez scored 36 goals in 122 games during his time at Victory, including 10 goals last term to finish the club’s top scorer.
He has represented Costa Rica 35 times and scored seven goals.
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