Athens Kallithea FC announce the acquisition of Spanish midfielder Javier Matilla on a free transfer following the mutual termination of his contract with Super League 1 club Volos. Matilla, 35, has signed personal terms through the 2022/23 season with an option for the 2023/24 season.
In a 15-year career, the former Villarreal, Real Betis, and Aris Thessaloniki midfielder has made 161 appearances between Spain’s top two divisions, 131 appearances in Greece’s top division, and 16 appearances in UEFA competition.
Born in Toledo, Matilla came through the academy at Villarreal, breaking into the first team at age 20 and making 14 total appearances in the Primera División plus seven total appearances in the UEFA Europa League over three seasons.
In June 2011, Matilla was sold to Real Betis, where he would make 37 total appearances over two seasons in the Primera División and 15 appearances in one season in the Segunda División along with two appearances in the UEFA Europa League. During a loan spell, Matilla scored 12 goals with four assists to help Real Murcia survive a relegation battle in the Segunda División.
After two more seasons in Spain with Elche and Gimnàstic Tarragona, Matilla left his home country for Greece, signing for Aris and quickly becoming a key figure at the club.
Over four seasons from 2018/19 to 2021/22, Matilla would make 118 total appearances with seven goals and nine assists to help lead Aris on a historic run in Super League 1 with two fifth-place finishes followed by two third-place finishes, the latter two being the club’s best finishes in the league since 1979/80. In that time, Matilla would make seven total appearances in qualification for the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Conference League.
After moving to Super League 1 club Volos last summer, Matilla made 13 league appearances in the ongoing 2022/23 season, with Volos currently sixth in the league table.