Guwahati: NorthEast United FC is delighted to announce the signing of defender Michel Zabaco ahead of the 2023-24 season. The 34-year-old centre-back brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record from his remarkable journey in the second and third tiers of Spanish football.
Born in Burgos, Zabaco's football talents were evident from an early age, leading Atletico Madrid to sign him up to their prestigious youth academy at the age of 16. He rose through the ranks, progressing from the club's C team to the Atletico Madrid B team. In 2012, Zabaco made the switch to Almeria, where he fought his way into the first team. Demonstrating his tenacity and skill, Zabaco played pivotal roles in securing promotions for his last three clubs, including his hometown team, Burgos FC.
Joining NorthEast United FC marks a new chapter for Zabaco, as he ventures outside of Spain for the first time. Expressing his gratitude for joining the Highlanders, Zabaco said, "I have heard good things about the country, the Hero Indian Super League, and about its great players, stadiums, and coaches. I am very excited because I firmly believe in the ambitious project at NorthEast United FC, led by the new management and coaching staff. With all the elements combined, I believe it will be a remarkable season for all of us."
Head coach Juan Pedro Benali, while praising Zabaco, shared insights into the successful acquisition of his fellow compatriot. He said, "We were searching for a player with a fighting mentality, exceptional leadership skills, and vast experience. Zabaco perfectly embodies these qualities, and his sense of responsibility will be invaluable. Moreover, he will serve as a mentor to our young players, sharing his knowledge and expertise. That's precisely why we brought him on board."
CEO Mandar Tamhane too expressed his delight at welcoming Michel Zabaco to the NorthEast United FC family. He commented, "We are thrilled to have Michel Zabaco join our ranks, a signing that demonstrates our commitment to strengthening the team and achieving our objectives for the upcoming season. Zabaco's arrival will undoubtedly enhance our defensive capabilities and contribute to our relentless pursuit of excellence."
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