The winger is the fourth Spanish addition for the Juggernauts this season.

Odisha FC have been actively recruiting players to strengthen their squad this season. The Bhubaneswar-based club have added another Spanish addition to the squad, named Aridai Cabrera. After having a season where they ended rock bottom, the club’s motive has been progressing notably. Odisha have signed nine players in this transfer window. Cabrera’s addition makes him the fourth Spanish player to join the club this summer.

Cabrera is a winger who spent his whole life in Spain. And the experienced player can probably end the attacking woes for Odisha FC. He has signed a one-year contract with the Juggernauts. Javi Hernandez, Hector Rodas and Victor Mongil are the other Spaniards in the squad.

The 32-year-old winger has got plenty of experience during his tenure in Spain. Throughout his career, he has played in the Segunda Division as well as La Liga across clubs like RCD Mallorca, Girona FC, Betis ‘B,’ Hospitalet, Sabadell FC, Huracan, Valencia ‘B,’ Cultural Leonesa and Las Palmas. As he begins a new journey with Odisha FC, let us have a detailed look into his career:

Past experience

Aridai Cabrera was born in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain. He joined the reserve squad of local club Universidad de Las Palmas CF in 2006. He played a year for the reserve side. Having made his debut for the first-team in 2007, he joined RCD Mallorca three years later.

Cabrera started with the ‘B’ team of Mallorca, who played in the fourth division. After playing two seasons there, he signed a contract with the second division side Girona FC. But, he moved to Real Betis as part of the reserve team just a year later in 2013. Another short spell followed and he soon joined CE L’Hospitalet.

In 2014, he joined Sabadell, but terminated his contract to sign for third division side Huracan. He quit the team in December after the club’s financial problems worsened.

Cabrera then signed for Valencia ‘B.’ Although he played for the reserve team, this spell was his most successful one. Following that spell, he joined Cultural Leonesa, where he played for another short spell before moving on. In 2018, he joined Mallorca and made his first division debut in 2019, coming on as a substitute for the final 13 minutes.

Two years later, he joined his native club UD Las Palmas after becoming a free agent. That was also his last club in Spain as in August 2021, he was recruited by the Indian Super League side Odisha FC.

Club career in numbers

Initially playing in the reserve team of Universidad Las Palmas, Aridai Cabrera made 26 appearances and scored 14 goals. He earned a promotion to the first team where he scored 12 in 62 appearances. In 2010, he left the club as it was on the brink of getting shutdown. Joining Mallorca ‘B,’ he made 52 appearances in two years, scoring 10 goals in the process. Cabrera failed to score a goal in his next spell at Girona, making only nine appearances in his six months there. Another short spell at Real Betis’ reserve team saw him appear 14 times and score four goals, before he moved to Hospitalet.

This was a fourth-division club and Cabrera was hugely involved in the squad in the one year he played there. His spell at Sabadell was similar to that at Girona, with no goals in 17 appearances. In 2015, he played 30 matches and scored four goals for Huracan before quitting.

Then he joined Valencia ‘B’ where he enjoyed his most prolific spell. Although he played for the reserve team, he secured his highest-ever goal tally in a season, with 20 goals in just 47 appearances. Then he moved to Cultural Leonesa after a year and appeared 19 times, scoring thrice. His next move to Mallorca was where he had the experience of playing in La Liga. In two years, Cabrera scored 11 goals in 53 matches. His final Spanish chapter was with his local club Las Palmas, where he made 31 appearances and scored three goals.

In the 15 years he spent in Spain, Aridai Cabrera scored 91 goals in 394 appearances. Now, he will be starting a new journey away from home after joining the ISL side Odisha FC.

Previous performances and how he can impact Odisha FC

Aridai Cabrera is professionally a winger and has mostly played in that position. Although he has been a journeyman throughout his career, the 32-year-old has performed brilliantly at certain clubs. His most recent best performance was with Las Palmas.

As a winger who can produce the goals, Cabrera can have a big impact at Odisha FC, who struggled to find the net last season. Although they were better than a few other clubs, there were occasions when the Juggernauts struggled to get the ball forward. This was also mainly because the club lacked defensively.

Odisha FC have enhanced the squad, which includes two Spanish center-backs, for this season and look decent enough to put up a challenge against the big boys of the ISL. As the defensive work will now be eased, the addition of experienced players like Cabrera can help the team think of attacking scenarios.

Being optimistic about joining the club, Cabrera said, “I am very happy to sign for Odisha FC and I am really excited to play in India. I want to meet my teammates soon and start preparing for the upcoming season. We will definitely make sure that Odisha FC does well in the next ISL.”

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