Rino Anto
File photo of Rino Anto.KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images

Bengaluru FC on Wednesday announced that right-back Rino Anto has returned to the club, signing a two-year-deal that will keep him in the southern outfit until the end of the 2019-2020 season.

The 30 year old switched teams when he was picked up by Kerala Blasters in the ISL draft for the 2017-18 season. Anto returns for the blues ahead of their 2018 AFC Cup Inter-zone semi-final against Altyn Asyr FK. 

"I'm glad to be back at this club where I made so many memories and I cannot wait to get on the pitch in a Bengaluru FC shirt once again. It's never easy to be a part of a club where the level of competition is so high, but I'm ready for the challenge," Anto said in a statement. In his first four years with the club he went on to make 80 appearances. 

In his debut season in 2014, Anto helped the blues win the I-League. He was also part of the Federation Cup winning teams in 2015 and 2017. In 2016 he helped Bengaluru reclaim the I-League title and saw his side reach the final of the AFC Cup in Doha, where they lost to Iraqi team Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya. 

Anto also has six internatinal caps to his name. He has also scored two goals in the Indian Super League and one in the I-League. 

"We're very happy to have Rino back, he's been a star performer for us in our entire journey, including being a club captain. He's been a leader for us and has a very strong connect with the fans, who I'm sure will be equally excited to have him back. Rino is a national team player and we look to see him back there, representing club and country," said club COO, Mustafa Ghouse.

Bengaluru FC are scheduled to play Turkamenistan's Altyn Asyr FK in the first leg at the Kanteerva Stadium on August 22.