New Delhi: Delhi Dynamos FC has signed Belgian goalkeeper Kristof Van Hout for the inaugural season of the Hero Indian Super League.
An accomplished custodian, Van Hout played for Belgian powerhouse Racing Genk last season. At 6ft10 (2.08m), Van Hout also has the distinction of being the tallest professional football player in the world, making him an imposing figure at the goalpost.
At the age of 27, he is at the peak of his footballing prowess and will have plenty to offer to the club.
Van Hout burst on to the scene in 2008, becoming the hero of Kortrijk after saving three penalties in the shootout against league champions Standard Liege to help his team progress to the quarterfinals. This earned him a transfer to none other than Standard Liege itself, with whom he won the Belgian Cup in 2010-11.
Van Hout was on the bench for Liege's matches in the Champions League, including two games against Premier League giants Arsenal.
In 2012, Van Hout made the move to another Belgian superclub, Racing Genk, one year after the club sold prodigious talent Thibaut Courtois to Chelsea. That season, Van Hout led Genk to a third place finish in the Pro League, earning them a place in the Europa League. He also won his second Belgian Cup.
Van Hout featured in the Europa League for Genk as recently as February 27 this year, playing the full 90 minutes against Russian club, Anzhi Makhachkala.
Commenting on his inclusion in the Delhi squad, Van Hout said, "I am eagerly looking forward to playing in India, which has a sizeable fan following for the game of football. I am confident that it will be an enjoyable and fruitful experience to play in Indian conditions."
On Van Hout signing, Delhi Dynamos FC coach Harm van Veldhoven said, "Van Hout is a seasoned player, who has contributed immensely to his teams in the past due to his fine goalkeeping skills. We are sure that he will display the same alacrity and judgement when defending Delhi Dynamos' goalpost.
"His height is a big advantage, especially in close games that go down to penalty shootouts."
Delhi Dynamos had earlier signed prolific strikers Mads Junker and Morten Skoubo, as well as experienced Belgian defender Wim Raymaekers following their strategic tie up with Feyenoord Rotterdam.