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Pohang Steelers Sign Brazilian Midfielder Oberdan

As Pohang Steelers look to push for their first trophy since 2013 in its 50th season, the club looks to improve upon key areas across the team. K League United columnist Zeno Jo takes a look at the Steelers' newest arrival of the Winter transfer window and their 2nd Brazilian player, Oberdan (Image Credit:

It was announced today by the club that we have signed Brazilian midfielder Oberdan Alionço de Lima from Figueirense FC. The transfer is a one-year loan with an option to buy, as announced by the parent club. Figueirense plays in Brasileiro Série C, the third tier of Brazilian football, though they played in Série B as recently as the 2019-2020 season and Série A in 2015-2016. 

Born on July 30, 1995, in Pinhais, Oberdan Alionço de Lima, referred to as Oberdan, is 27 years old. He is right-footed and stands 175 centimeters tall (just under 5 foot 9 inches). The defensive midfielder had been with Figueirense since June of 2021, joining on loan and then eventually on permanent terms. He played in 73 matches for "the Hurricane", scoring eight times, winning the 2021 Santa Catarina Cup and the 2022 Recopa Catarinense with the club.

Oberdan represents the second non-AFC foreign player that the Steelers have signed to their squad this offseason. The signing of Brazilian striker Zeca has been rumored since before the 2022 K League season's conclusion, and once his signing is made official, it is believed that he will be the club's last foreign player recruited, completing a trio of Brazilian players playing for the club. Oberdan will also be the team's first foreign player in the position since Australian Brandon O'Neill's departure following the 2020 season. 

Figueirense's #8 was a very popular figure both within the club and among fans. "...we held [on to] Oberdan for as long as possible, but the proposal for the player was irresistible”, said José Carlos Lages, the executive director of Figueirense.  

As far as his fit into the team, he will most likely be playing alongside captain Shin Jin-ho. Oberdan played in the middle of Figueirense's 4-3-3, their most common formation. Tactically, he should have no problem replacing a spot that was never occupied by a single player. 

Lee Seung-mo, Shin Kwang-hoon and Park Seung-wook have all featured as the captain's partner in the past season, and should Oberdan adjust well, he will likely take charge of the second defensive midfield spot in Kim Ki-dong's 4-2-3-1. Lee Soo-bin recently finalized his transfer to Jeonbuk Hyundai, meaning there is still plenty of playing time up for grabs at the position.

The transfer can be described as a low-risk, high-reward move for Pohang. There is a bit of uncertainty from Pohang fans due to the lack of information that they are used to, but the reaction from the Figueirense fanbase alone should speak loud. Should the player perform well, the club can trigger the purchase option.

Welcome to Pohang, Oberdan!


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