Odisha FC announced on Monday the signing of defender Mourtada Fall for a two-year contract. Fall joins the Super Cup champions from Mumbai City, where he had before fallen out of favor. The move reunites Fall with Spanish coach Sergio Lobera, with whom he had a productive stint in the 2020-21 season at Mumbai, leading to their victory in the ISL Shield and Cup.

Lobera will join Odisha FC from Chinese second-division side Sichuan Jiuniu on a two-year deal. Apart from being a reliable defender, Fall has an impressive scoring record, having netted 17 times. This makes him the highest-scoring defender in the history of the top-flight Indian Super League (ISL), which spans nine years. Odisha acknowledged Fall’s strengths: “His aerial prowess, timing, and composure in front of the goal have made him a potent threat during set pieces and an asset to any team he represents.”

This will mark Fall’s third collaboration with Lobera, as they previously teamed up in FC Goa before moving to Mumbai, where they achieved success in the Super Cup and ISL Shield. Fall’s arrival will strengthen Odisha FC’s defensive line and provide valuable experience to the team. With their recent triumph in the Super Cup, Odisha secured their first major silverware and qualified for the group stage of the AFC Cup next season.

Fall’s experience of playing in the AFC Champions League as an advantage for Odisha FC as they enter the continental stage. The club was confident in Fall’s abilities: “Fall has showcased his skills, having participated in the AFC Champions League. Playing against some of the best clubs in Asia, he has gained valuable experience that will benefit the Kalinga Warriors.”

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