Kitchee confirms the new signing of the La Masia Graduate José Raúl Baena today. The Spanish defensive midfielder Baena will be registered as the "Designated Foreign Player". Baena was brought through the FC Barcelona's esteemed "La Masia" system that produced Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Cesc Fàbregas, etc. In 2007, Baena joined the Barça's neighbor RCD Espanyol and worked with Mauricio Pochettino for 4 Seasons before joining Rayo Vallecano in 2013. 


The Spanish box-to-box midfielder successfully compiled more than 150 appearances in the LaLiga for 8 Seasons. In the 2017/2018 Season, Baena joined Granada CF as Team Captain and transferred to Melbourne Victory on a one-year contract. Baena managed 24 appearances in the A-league, including 3 appearances in the Asian Champions League Group Stage. 


In 2019/2020, Baena moved to Greece and joined Atromitos FC in the Super League. Mr. Alex Chu, Director of Football of Kitchee, has high hope for this Spanish playmaker that he can lead the team to a higher level, "Baena is an experienced box-to-box midfielder who possesses excellent leadership skill and powerful shooting ability. 

The coaching team and I are looking forward to integrating him into the Club. I have great confidence that he, as an example of professionalism, can lead by example and be a vital role model for our young players." 

Baena has arrived in Hong Kong on 25 November and got tested negative for COVID-19 after two weeks of quarantine. He has been incorporating a full-body workout into his quarantine training to keep up his fitness level. "I am delighted to join the Kitchee family and can't wait to train with my new teammates." Baena expressed. 

The La Masia graduate will take on the No.37 jersey and said, "It was the first number that I picked and wore in my professional career, which means a lot to me personally. For this, I would like to express my gratitude to my teammate Connor, who has vacated his number for me." The original No. 37 Connor Tong has switched his to No. 36.

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