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ISL 2018: Brazilian defender Eli Sabia rejoins Chennaiyin FC on a one-year deal

1.01K   //    26 Aug 2018, 12:59 IST

Eli Sabia (L) in action for Chennaiyin in 2016
Eli Sabia (L) in action for Chennaiyin in 2016

What's the story?

In an approach to strengthen their squad ahead of the upcoming season of the Indian Super League, Chennaiyin FC has re-signed Brazilian defender Eli Sabia on a one-year deal.

This will be the Brazilian's second stint in Indian football, having played for the Chennaiyin FC in the third edition of the Indian Super League and his inclusion into the side was confirmed on the team's official Twitter handle.

In case you didn't know

The talented 29-year old defender plied his trade for Chennaiyin FC, who are two-time champions from 2015 and the 2017/18 season in the 2016 edition of the Indian Super League where he made 11 appearances throughout the season.

Heart of the Matter

The Brazilian defender has acres of experience under his belt, having started playing for local club Paulista for close to five years, before switching to Swiss-based club FC Lausanne and then moved to Sao Caetano in 2011, where he made 85 appearances while also shifting to Brasiliense, Criciuma, and Botafogo-SP on loan.

Post his first stint with Chennaiyin FC, Sabia signed for Brazilian football club Sertaozinho and played one season there before representing Saudi Arabia based Al-Raed at the top division where he made 21 appearances and also scored a goal.

It is learned that Chennaiyin FC head coach John Gregory was thrilled at Sabia's inclusion and the Brazilian's commanding presence at the back interlaced with his experience from playing at the top tire will fuel the defending champions' upcoming campaign, while his alliance with compatriot Mailson Alves will also hold the team in good stead.

The 29-year old Brazilian has already joined the pre-season training camp that is being held in Malaysia and will be donning the No.13 jersey for the upcoming season.

What's Next?

The defending champions have managed to start off with a title win under the tutelage of head coach John Gregory and with some new additions to the squad, will hope to recreate the magic from the previous season when the 2018/19 edition of the ISL commences in October.

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