Mumbai City FC has confirmed the signing of José Luis Espinosa Arroyo, who is fondly known as Tiri. The Spanish centre-back joins the Islanders, signing a one-year contract that will see him don the sky blue until the end of the 2023-24 season.
Born in Los Barrios, Spain, the 31-year-old started his professional career at his hometown club Cádiz CF. He made 49 appearances for their ‘B’ team from 2009 to 2012, even making two appearances for the Cádiz first team in 2010. In 2012, Tiri moved on to play for Atlético Madrid, where he became a core member of Atlético Madrid ‘B’ side, representing them on 85 occasions between 2012 to 2015.
In 2015, the defender made his first move to the Indian Super League when he joined Atlético de Kolkata and was a key member of the ATK squad that reached the semi-final. He returned to the Kolkata-based side for the 2016 season after a brief stint back home with the Atlético Madrid ‘B’ team. Tiri established himself as one of the most consistent defenders in the league during the 2016 season that saw Atlético De Kolkata lift the ISL trophy.
Tiri moved to Spanish third division side Marbella FC in 2017 and after making six appearances for the Spanish side, he returned to the ISL. The centre-back joined Jamshedpur FC ahead of the 2017-18 season where he played every minute of the campaign for the Men of Steel. With Tiri in defence, Jamshedpur finished in 5th place, narrowly missing out on the playoff spots in their debut season in the ISL.
After three years with Jamshedpur, making 49 appearances and scoring three goals, Tiri made the move to ATK Mohun Bagan in 2020. The Spaniard went on to become a key cog in the Mariners’ defence playing a crucial role in the ISL and in their AFC Cup campaign. Tiri suffered an unfortunate injury ahead of the 2022-23 season that kept him out of league action before making a return in the 2023 Super Cup.
With 110 league appearances over a span of eight years, Tiri is one of the most experienced and decorated foreign recruits in the history of the ISL. The Spaniard joins the Mumbai City ahead of the Islanders’ league title defense and a landmark 2023-24 AFC Champions League campaign.
“I’m glad to be here and join Mumbai City. The culture at this club is highly spoken of across the league and the ambitions here are for everyone to see. I have played in India for a long time but I want to continue winning and I’m looking forward to defending the league title and winning trophies with Mumbai City. It’s a new chapter for me and one that I’m very excited to get started with.”
Des Buckingham, Head Coach, Mumbai City FC, said:
“Tiri is a player I have tracked and enjoyed watching since arriving into India. He is a very good defender and possesses a lot of the qualities we look for in our players in this position. His consistently high performances and understanding of the ISL will help him settle quickly and help us continue developing our play. I am very happy he has decided to join us and look forward to his experiences helping our team continue striving for success in the coming season.”