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Free agent Javi Hernandez signs for Odisha FC

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Odisha FC have announced the signing of Spanish attacking midfielder Javi Hernandez from ATK Mohun Bagan.

The 32-year-old, who first played in the Indian Super League in the 2019-20 season, has moved to Kiko Ramirez's side after a two-year association with Kolkata (ATK and ATK Mohun Bagan).

Hernandez began his football career with spells at the youth academies of CDF Pizarrales, Salamanca and Real Madrid. The Spaniard made his senior debut for Real Madrid Castilla. After playing for various Spanish clubs, including a loan spell at Swedish club Halmstads BK, the 32-year-old footballer joined Romanian professional club ACS Poli Timisoara.

After spells in Poland and Azerbaijan, Javi Hernandez signed for ATK in 2019. A title-winning campaign with the Kolkata-based side in 2019-20 saw him being retained for the following season, by the newly-formed ATK Mohun Bagan.

"I am really excited to join Odisha FC and very happy to continue playing in India," Hernandez said. "I am looking forward to meeting my teammates and we will definitely work hard and play well to make sure that we have a wonderful season ahead. I want to make the Odisha FC fans proud," the attacking midfielder added.

Odisha FC head coach Kiko Ramirez hailed the 32-year-old's attacking attributes. “Javi is a great addition to the squad, he is going to give us work in the midfield, and balance to the team," the Spanish manager said.

"The most important thing is that even playing in midfield, Javi is a player who can score goals due to his physical capabilities and his good technique. He is a good player to play different styles of football, and he has a very good shot," Ramirez added.

"From set-pieces, he is a great kicker, both for direct scoring and for strategy plays. He is loved in the teams where he has been for his work ethic, for his enthusiasm, and for his character,” Ramirez said.

Featured photo: Odisha FC

 

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