Defender Carlos Delgado returns to Odisha FC

Odisha FC have announced the return of defender Carlos Delgado who will come back to the club after two years, reuniting with Josep Gombau.

A product of the Malaga CF youth academy, Delgado made his professional debut for the club’s B side more than a decade ago. After representing the reserve sides of Real Valladolid, UD Almeria, and a stint with Dutch club Sparta Rotterdam, the center-back signed for Valencia in 2012. Starting with the B team, Delgado eventually made his senior debut for the club in a UEFA Champions League match against Lille.

He last played for Castellon in the Spanish third division before joining Odisha.

Born in Puerto Real, Cádiz, Andalusia, Delgado joined Málaga CF's youth system at the age of 15. In early 2008, he rejected a new contract and went on trial with Eredivisie club Sparta Rotterdam, finally signing in January 2009. Carlos returned to his country and joined Real Valladolid, who assigned the player to their reserves.

In summer 2010, Delgado signed with another reserve team, UD Almería B. After playing five games in Segunda División B in January of the following year, he returned to the Netherlands and Sparta on loan. He made his debut for the latter – who now competed in Eerste Divisie – on 28 January, against RBC Roosendaal (4–1 home win). On 11 February, he scored in a 3–2 away victory over FC Dordrecht.

Delgado returned to Spain in July 2011, joining Orihuela CF also in the third division. On 12 June 2012, Delgado signed a two-year contract with Valencia CF, being initially a part of the B team set up in the third tier. He made his debut for Mestalla on 26 August against Gimnàstic de Tarragona and, the following month, was called up to train with the main squad by manager Mauricio Pellegrino due to Ricardo Costa's injury; on the 29th, he was an unused substitute for a La Liga game against Real Zaragoza.

Delgado made his competitive debut for the Che on 2 October 2012, playing the full 90 minutes in a 2–0 home defeat of Lille OSC in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. He continued to appear regularly with the reserves until the end of his tenure.

Carlos moved to fellow league side Albacete Balompié in 2016 and achieved promotion to division two as captain. Delgado amassed 1389 minutes of serious game time over 16 matches in his first season with the Juggernauts. With a goal to his name, Carlos had 635 passes combined with 837 touches and a whopping passing accuracy of 86.45% which averages to 39.69 passes per game.

Delgado is expected to play a key role in Gombau’s second stint as Odisha FC head coach.

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