Sabia began his career at Sao Paulo-based club Paulista and came through the ranks of the club's youth system before going on to make his senior bow. He went on several loan moves including one to Swiss top division outfit FC Lausanne Sport in 2007-08. The following year saw him take the field for Brazilian giants Santos. It was a noteworthy campaign in Santos' history as Neymar marked his breakthrough to the first team alongside team-mate Sabia, who in all made 22 appearances for them that season.
Eli Sabia also enjoyed a loan stint with Atlético Paranaense in Brazil's top division and in 2011 made a permanent move to Brazilian Serie B club Sao Caetano. He spent five seasons with Caetano which included loan spells in several clubs across Brazil. Earlier 2016 also saw him have a short stint with Agua Santa before having another brief spell at Sampaio Correa.