Chennaiyin FC signs Eli Sabia

The 27-year-old from Sao Paulo joins Chennaiyin on a free transfer after the expiry of his contract with Brazilian second tier outfit Sampaio Correa.

Eli Sabia started his career at Sao Paulo-based club Paulista and came through the club’s youth system.   -  Special Arrangement

Indian Super League champion Chennaiyin FC today announced the signing of Brazilian central defender Eli Sabia for the upcoming season.

The 27-year-old from Sao Paulo joins Chennaiyin on a free transfer after the expiry of his contract with Brazilian second tier outfit Sampaio Correa.

Sabia started his career at Sao Paulo-based club Paulista and came through the club’s youth system before going on to make it to its senior team.

While at Paulista, Sabia had several loan moves including one to Swiss top division outfit FC Lausanne Sport in 2007-08.

The following season Sabia played in the Brazilian top tier for giants Santos. It was a significant campaign in Santos’ history as Neymar made his breakthrough to the first team with teammate Sabia making 22 appearances.

Eli Sabia also had a loan stint with Atletico Paranaense in the Brazilian top division and in 2011 made a permanent move to Brazilian Serie B club Sao Caetano.

He spent five seasons with Caetano which also included loan spells in several clubs around Brazil. Earlier this year he had a short stint with Agua Santa before having a small spell at Sampaio Correa.

“Eli Sabia has had a very good career in Brazil and also has the experience of playing in Europe. He will add quality and solidarity to our defence,” said Chennaiyin FC manager Marco Materazzi.

“It is an honour for me to get an opportunity to play under the legendary Materazzi. I would like to thank him and the club owners for believing in me. I am looking forward to this new experience of playing in India and want to help Chennaiyin retain the championship,” Eli Sabia said.

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