Former Rangers defender Fabio Cardoso explains decision to leave Ibrox
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Former Rangers defender Fabio Cardoso explains decision to leave Ibrox

Fabio Cardoso has spoken to Portuguese outlet Zero Zero about his exit from Rangers in 2018.

The 25-year-old spent just a solitary season at Ibrox before he upped sticks and left. He still had two years remaining on his contract but was allowed to leave for free and return to Portugal.

He signed for newly-promoted Santa Clara, and enjoyed an excellent campaign, helping them to a 10th place finish and being named in the Primeira Liga Team of the Season [Scottish Sun].

Cardoso made 30 appearances and scored five goals for his new club across 2018/19. (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

Recently, manager Joao Henriques labelled his new captain as “one of the best Portuguese central defenders of this new generation,” as quoted by the Scottish Sun.

Former Rangers defender Fabio Cardoso on Ibrox exit

“The first six months were very good, but after the injury…It was also the time when Caixinha left,” Cardoso told Zero Zero [translated]. “I was about to have an operation, I had to wait…It was the phase of my career where I was not competing for more time and it was complicated. It was not easy being away from mine and on top without competing.”

“I hadn’t played in a long time and I felt that the most important thing was to play, rather than being in a big club or in a completely different financial reality. I spoke to my agent and we thought it would be better to leave than simply stay there to fulfil the contract.”

The Portuguese in action for the Gers against Hibs in August 2017. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Verdict

It was probably best for all parties that Cardoso left Rangers when he did.

He turned out 18 times for the Light Blues during the 2017/18 season but barely featured after the winter break following the managerial change at Ibrox [Soccerbase].

Since his departure, he’s had the regular game time any young centre-back needs and is flourishing with the Azores-based Santa Clara.

Skipper Cardoso during a fiery clash with Porto last month. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

As for the Gers, they’ve signed a whole new fleet of centre-backs since his departure. Connor Goldson, Nikola Katic, Filip Helander and George Edmundson are the four Steven Gerrard can choose from right now, meaning he has a good mix of experience, physicality and youthfulness to call upon.