ISL 2023-24: FC Goa rope in Spanish defender Odei Onaindia

Odei Onaindia will reunite with Manolo Marquez once again, this time at FC Goa.

ISL 2023-24: FC Goa rope in Spanish defender Odei Onaindia
ISL 2023-24: FC Goa rope in Spanish defender Odei Onaindia
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FC Goa announced the signing of Spanish defender Odei Onaindia ahead of the upcoming season of the Indian Super League (ISL 2023-24). The defender from Spain has put pen-to-paper with the Gaurs on a one-year deal, the club confirmed.

Onaindia is no stranger to Indian football, having first played in the country in the 2020-21 season in the colours of Hyderabad FC led by their then-head coach Manolo Marquez. He returned last year for another stint with the Hyderabad FC under Marquez and played a crucial role as they finished second in the league.

Also Read: Spanish defender Odei Onaindia leaves Hyderabad FC

The 33-year-old will reunite with Manolo Marquez once again, this time at FC Goa as the Club continue to reinforce its squad. Onaindia is the eighth new addition to the Gaurs’ ranks this summer, following Rowllin Borges, Udanta Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Boris Singh and Raynier Fernandes and foreign signings Paulo Retre and Carlos Martinez.

Also Check: FC Goa appoint Manolo Marquez as new Head Coach

“I’m thrilled about my opportunity with FC Goa. Having played against them for two seasons now, I’m aware how the team has always been competitive and tough to face. I strongly feel that we’ll have a good season this time,” Odei Onaindia said, after signing on the dotted line for FC Goa.

Also Check: ISL 2023-24 Transfer Live News and Updates

“Over the years, I’ve had a few friends who have played for Goa, and all of them have only spoken very well of the club and the place. The fact that Coach Manolo and his staff are here as well also helped me in making up my mind,” he added.

“I cannot wait to join up with my new teammates in training, and make the fans of this great club proud,” he continued.

Also Check: ISL Transfers Window – All completed signings for ISL 2023-24

Ravi Puskur, the Club’s Director of Football, also commented on the new signing, saying, “Odei has undoubtedly been one of the standout centre-backs in the ISL over the past couple of seasons. As a highly skilled operator and an understated leader, he possesses the ability to marshal the backline with great finesse.”

“Odei’s tactical nous and exceptional reading of the game make him a valuable addition to our team. His presence will undoubtedly help us create a strong defensive unit. His potential partnership with Sandesh holds a lot of promise for our future success as we aim to build a strong defensive unit to compete for top honours this season,” he further added.

Odei Onaindia Career

Hailing from the Basque Country in northern Spain, the centre-back began his youth career with hometown side Lekeitio FT. From there he moved to Athletic Bilbao’s academy before CD Basconia became his first senior club in 2008.

This was followed by stints at various other Spanish lower-division clubs before he returned to Bilbao to join their Reserves Team.

In 2018, Odei Onaindia joined CD Mirandes and was one of the key names in the squad that achieved promotion to the Segunda Division the following year. 2020 marked a turning point in his career when he shifted abroad for the first time to join Hyderabad FC.

The 33-year-old has played 41 matches to date in the ISL, clocking 3715 minutes and maintaining a passing accuracy of 80.96%. He has also registered 1.80 tackles, 1.32 interceptions, 4.24 clearances and 1.63 blocks per game during this period, making him one of the best defenders in the league right now.

His performances stood out, especially in the 2022-23 season, when Hyderabad FC conceded just 16 goals in 22 matches, the best defensive record among all the teams that year.