As revealed by Spanish outlet MARCA, Alberto Zapater of Real Zaragoza looks set to join Atletico Ottawa. The veteran midfielder’s contract will expire on June 30th.
— Atlético Ottawa (@atletiOttawa) June 26, 2023
Atletico Ottawa Close to Confirming the Signing of Alberto Zapater
Club Tease New Signing That Who Will Join on June 28th
The report from MARCA earlier this month reveals that Atletico Ottawa is a serious option for midfielder Zapater. The 38-year-old will depart La Liga2 side Real Zaragoza, where he has spent the last seven years of his career. MARCA revealed that Zapater stated he was let go by Zaragoza and that he would continue playing if a unique opportunity arose.
Moving to Canada would undoubtedly be an exciting option for Zapater, who has spent his entire career within UEFA. Perhaps a fairly obvious statement but landing at a club with Spanish ties like Atletico Ottawa makes a lot of sense for the former Spanish U21 international. Atletico Ottawa has teased on Twitter that a player from Spain has landed in the nation’s capital. All things point to that being the arrival of Zapater. In fact, Zapater’s wife has already posted via Instagram about being in Ottawa and has shared the Atletico Ottawa teaser post.
Alberto Zapater Holds Special Europa League Record
Zapater will ultimately become one of the most recognized faces in Canadian Premier League history when his signing is confirmed. He will also have a strong argument for having the best career resume of any former or current CPL player. Zapater rose through the ranks of Zaragoza and played four seasons in La Liga from 2004 to 2008. After spending a season with the club after relegation from the Spanish top flight, Zapater moved to Serie A Side Genoa. During his one season at the Italian club, he made history when scored the first group-stage goal in Europa League. He accomplished the feat in 2009 against Slavia Prague.
After just a season with Genoa, Zapater moved on to Portuguese side Sporting CP before making a switch to Russia in 2011. Zapater returned to his boyhood club Real Zaragoza in 2016, eventually becoming the captain. Despite having a history in La Liga, under Zapater in his second stint, Real Zaragoza has exclusively played in the Segunda Division. The club has come close to promotion in recent memory, though, finishing third in the table during the 19-20 season.
Alberto Zapater Could Prove Needed Midfield Cover and Veteran Experience
During this season, Atletico Ottawa has operated without a proper defensive midfielder. The likes of Bahous, Bassett and Verhoeven continue to cover in the central midfield spot, while fullback Miguel Acosta has become a deep-lying midfielder. Zapater is an out-and-out number six who could be a difference-maker for Atletico Ottawa down the middle. Nonetheless, a 38-year-old playing on plenty of turf fields carries some significant risks. Additionally, the cold temperatures in Canada on turf can combine for a dangerous surface for older players.
Atletico Ottawa still has two international slots open. There is an expectation that they will fulfill all seven spots this season. The likes of Gianni Dos Santos and Ollie Bassett currently occupy international spots.
Photo Credit: CPL.
The post Atletico Ottawa Set to Sign Spanish Midfielder With Europa League Record appeared first on Last Word On Soccer.