Cabral (footballer)

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Adilson Tavares Varela — Cabral.jpg
Cabral playing for Basel in 2011
Personal information
Full name Adilson Tavares Varela[1]
Date of birth (1988-10-22) 22 October 1988 (age 29)
Place of birth Praia, Cape Verde
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Playing position Defensive Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Le Mont
Number 88
Youth career
1997–1998 Moudon
1998–2001 Etoile Broye
2001–2005 Lausanne
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2007 Lausanne 26 (0)
2007–2013 Basel 99 (2)
2008–2009 Sevilla Atlético (loan) 23 (1)
2013–2015 Sunderland 1 (0)
2014 Genoa (loan) 7 (0)
2015–2016 FC Zürich 15 (0)
2017– Le Mont 2 (0)
National team
2005–2006 Switzerland U18 5 (1)
2006–2007 Switzerland U19 14 (0)
2007–2008 Switzerland U20 2 (0)
2007–2009 Switzerland U21 9 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 December 2016
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 31 December 2010, 24:00 (UTC)

Adilson Tavares Varela (born 22 October 1988), commonly known as Cabral, is a footballer who plays for Le Mont.

He spent most of his career at Basel, winning nine honours including five Swiss Super League titles, and also had brief spells in three foreign countries.

After representing his adopted Switzerland 30 times between under-18 and under-21 level, Cabral was called up in 2012 for his native Cape Verde but did not play.

Club career[edit]

FC Lausanne-Sport[edit]

Cabral came through the ranks at FC Lausanne-Sport and made his debut for the club in 2005. He went on to play 26 games for Lausanne-Sport.

FC Basel[edit]

In summer 2007, he left Lausanne for FC Basel on a free transfer, signing a three-year deal. He made his debut for Basel in the 5–1 away defeat on 5 August 2007 against BSC Young Boys.[3] However, he played just a handful of games during his first season at Basel and therefore for the 2008–09 season he was loaned out to Sevilla FC's B Team, Sevilla Atlético, where he made 22 appearances, scoring one goal.

When he returned to Basel Manager Christian Gross had been sacked and Thorsten Fink was in charge. Cabral had become a much improved player following his season in Spain and thus during the 2009–10 season he broke into the first team squad. He scored his first goal for the club in a 3–2 home win over AC Bellinzona on 6 December 2009.[4] At the end of that season Cabral was part of the Double winning squad and he had played 21 league games during the campaign.

His best goal was in the 2010/2011 UEFA Champions League against A.S. Roma when he dribbled around the defence and then lobbed the ball over Bogdan Lobonţ to the final score of 3:1. At the end of the Basel's 2010–11 season Cabral won his third Championship Medal and the following season saw him win his third Double (the fourth League Championship title[5] and the third Swiss Cup Medal).[6]

After his team mate Benjamin Huggel retired from professional football in May 2012, Cabral took his place in central midfield and advanced to becoming team leader. At the end of the Swiss Super League season 2012–13 Cabral won the Championship title[7] and was Swiss Cup runner up with Basel.[8] In the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League Basel advanced as far as the semi-finals, there being matched against the reigning UEFA Champions League holders Chelsea, but they were knocked out, losing both home and away tie, beaten 2–5 on aggregate.[9]


On 10 June 2013, Sunderland announced the signing of Cabral on a free transfer.[10] He scored his first goal for the club against Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final of the 2013 Premier League Asia Trophy. Sunderland would eventually win that game 3–1. He made his competitive debut for the club on the opening day of the season in a 1–0 home defeat against Fulham on 17 August 2013.[11] However, he failed to make another league appearance all season, even after Paolo di Canio was sacked as manager and replaced with Gus Poyet.

On 9 January 2014, having played no further part for the Black Cats, he was loaned to Genoa until the end of the season.[12]

On 2 February 2015, Sunderland confirmed that Cabral had left the club by mutual consent.[13]

FC Zürich[edit]

On 30 May 2015 he signed a four-year deal with FC Zürich.[14] On 1 December 2016 the contract was terminated by mutual consent.[15] Cabral made only 15 league appearances for FC Zürich.

International career[edit]

Cabral represented Switzerland at Under-18, Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 levels.

In November 2012, Cabral switched his sporting nationality to his birth country of Cape Verde, being called up for the friendly match between the Cape Verde national senior team against Ghana.[16] In that match, which Cape Verde lost 0–1, he was on the bench but did not play.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Cabral is a cousin of Manuel Fernandes a midfielder for FC Lokomotiv Moscow and Gelson Fernandes, a midfielder for Stade Rennais of the Ligue 1 and the Swiss national team.[18]

In 2016, Cabral was found not guilty at Hull Crown Court after a woman had accused him of rape from his time at Sunderland. The woman had consensual sex with several footballers and the judge called her claim a "weak case". Cabral stated "I was really angry for my family, for my friends, for this because everybody think 'You rape girls', 'You are a rapist'. Now the real story goes out. I am not guilty."[19]


FC Zürich


  1. ^ "Barclays Premier League Squad Numbers 2013/14". Premier League. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Premier League Player Profile Cabral". Premier League. Barclays Premier League. 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "FCB kassiert eine 1:5-Kanterniederlage gegen YB" (in German). FC Basel 1893. 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
  4. ^ Wyder, Lukas (2009). "FCB dreht Spiel gegen Bellinzona und gewinnt verdient mit 3:2 (1:2)" (in German). FC Basel 1893. Archived from the original on 22 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  5. ^ "Jetzt hat Basel den Titel auf sicher" (in German). 2012. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 2012-04-29. 
  6. ^ "Matchtelegram FC Basel 1893 5:3 FC Luzern" (in German). 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  7. ^ Schifferle, Michael (2013). "Season review: Switzerland". Eufa. Retrieved 2013-06-10. 
  8. ^ SFV (2013). "Telegramm Schweizer Cup Final" (in German). Schweizerischer Fussballverband. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  9. ^ Haylett, Trevor (2013). "Basel take heart after Chelsea defeat". Eufa. Retrieved 2013-05-03. 
  10. ^ "Sunderland sign Cabral, Valentin Roberge and Modibo Diakite". BBC Sport. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "Sunderland 0 – 1 Fulham". BBC. 17 August 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Cabral makes loan move". Sunderland AFC. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Midfielder Cabral departs". Sunderland. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  14. ^ "Der FC Zürich verpflichtet Cabral" [FC Zürich signs Cabral] (in German). FC Zürich. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "Der FC Zürich und Cabral lösen Vertrag vorzeitig auf" (in German). FC Zürich. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  16. ^ [1] (in Portuguese)
  17. ^ [2] (in Portuguese)
  18. ^ [3] (in Portuguese)
  19. ^ "Ex-Sunderland footballer Cabral cleared of raping woman he met at nightclub". The Daily Telegraph. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 

External links[edit]