Indian Football

Erik Paartalu hails Rahul Bheke as India's best defender

Mudeet Arora
Bheke has been excellent for club and country
Bheke has been excellent for club and country / Pakawich Damrongkiattisak/GettyImages

Former Indian Super League star Erik Paartalu has hailed Mumbai City FC's Rahul Bheke as the best defender in India following the Indian star's impressive performances for the Islanders in the AFC Champions League.

While speaking to Injury Time India, the Australian said, “For me, Bheke is the best Indian I've played with, and you only got to look at his record. What he's done at the AFC Champions League game. He scored in the Super Cup final and scored a goal in the ISL final too. Also, the first Indian to score in the Champions League. When you watch him play, he looks very graceful.”

Bheke scored a 117th minute header to help Bengaluru FC win their first Indian Super League title.

He continued his trend of scoring important goals as just last month he became the first ever Indian goalscorer after he netted the winning goal for Mumbai City FC in what was first ever win for an Indian football club in the AFC Champions League

Paartalu added by hailing him the best defender in India as he said, "He’s (Rahul Bheke has) got a body that it looks as though it hasn't been built here. And that's not been disrespectful. But you can see, he has a lot of muscle and the way he controls and glides with the ball. It's something you can't even be taught.

He just has an ability and confidence that you don't expect when you see him receive the ball. You're gonna go and close him down. I'm going to get the ball and he just somehow gets the ball. So as a defender, I don't think there's better than him in the country."