Brazilian defender Jairo Rodrigues joins Kerala Blasters

Kerala Blasters FC have confirmed the signing of 26-year-old Brazilian centre back Jairo Rodrigues Peixoto Filho on a one-year deal. The move, which was announced by the club on Wednesday evening, is a further validation of Kerala’s intent to build a formidable squad for the coming Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) season.

After spending his developmental phase with Goiás Esporte Clube and Brazilian giants Santos, Rodrigues joined Brazilian club America FC but didn’t play any senior matches for the side. The defender’s senior debut came on foreign soil, while playing for for Bulgarian outfit POFC Botev Vratsa back in 2012. Although a teenager back then, the Brazilian earned himself 21 caps in the 2012-13 campaign.

In 2014, he moved to Portugal based club, C.D. Trofense and made a total of 29 appearances in both league and cup competitions in the 2014-15 season. He scored one goal for the club during his time at Portugal.

The following campaign, Rodrigues joined Azerbaijani Premier League club Neftçi PFK. He stayed two years at the club, becoming one of the more reliable names in the dressing room. Rodrigues played a combined 33 league matches over the two seasons, scoring two goals. He also appeared in four Europa League Qualifying matches in the 2016-17 term, finding the back of the net on one occasion.

Before shifting base to Kerala, Rodrigues had stints with Japanese club Montedio Yamagata, Iranian outfit Sepahan S.C. and Indonesian top-flight unit Persela Lamongan. “I am very excited to be a part of Kerala Blasters FC, a club that is known for its fan following since the beginning of the ISL,” said the Brazil-born star after completing the transfer.

“I aim to train hard with my teammates during the pre-season to help build a strong, competitive and compact defence line to achieve the best results and have a wonderful season ahead. Hence, I’m eagerly looking forward to start my sessions with the club and will give my best on the ground,” he added.

Kerala head coach Eelco Schattorie chimed in with his inputs about the latest addition to his side and said, “Jairo is a rock-solid Brazilian wall in the defence. He is strong, fast and also has outstanding attacking qualities. Moreover, he is never afraid to push the ball into the mid-field, which is a very positive approach towards the game and will also give substantial support to the entire team. I’m delighted to have him on-board.”

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