Sport is such a unique platform
- 03 December 2020
As a former La Liga striker, Alex Sánchez reached these heights to play in the top tier of Spanish football, despite being born without a right hand.
Born in Zaragoza, Aragon, Sánchez started his football career with local Colegio Jesús-María El Salvador.
He came to fame in 2009, when he became the first player to appear in a professional match with just one hand whilst representing Real Zaragoza. He came through the ranks of Real Zaragoza, alongside Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera, and made his debut with the club as a teenager against a Valencia team featuring the likes of David Silva, David Villa and Juan Mata.
“My initial experience was bad for me, in terms of media and trying to sell newspapers through my story. As a teenager all I really wanted was to be recognised for my abilities as a player and what I did on the pitch.”
Sánchez went on his career to play in the Segunda División B with CD Teruel and CD Tudelano. On 2 July 2015, after scoring 15 goals in the previous campaign, he signed a two-year deal with Segunda División side CA Osasuna.
“Playing in La Liga was something I had imagined since I was very young and being able to fulfil that dream gave me incredible happiness.”
In January 2018, after representing in quick succession Tudelano and Osasuna's second team, the 28-year-old Sánchez moved abroad for the first time and joined Sydney Olympic FC in the Australian National Premier Leagues NSW.
Regarded as one of the league’s most prolific strikers and an exceptional talent on the field, he had an incredible first year at Olympic scoring 20 goals from 23 games, and was instrumental in the season where they won the Premiership and Championship.
As a crowd and NPL favourite, he entertained fans with his quality skills and attacking play. Alex was rightfully considered one of the best foreign players to participate in the NPL NSW competition, as well as being a wonderful person off the field, who was always very happy to assist and inspire young players and fans.
Sánchez has completed a PhD on Human Rights, a Masters in Politics and even written a book on Human Rights in Sport. He is also still playing football in the first team for CD Tudelano, proudly wearing the number 10 shirt.
Sánchez shared that he hopes to inspire other young people with a disability to achieve their dreams:
“I never felt as an inspiration until the moment I played in La Liga because a lot of people with disabilities came to me to let me know that I had inspired them. I had mothers sending me letters saying I was an inspiration for their children who had disabilities, however it was very overwhelming for me at the time.
Now I’m older I have realised that I have a big opportunity to help disabled people, especially kids, because sport is such a unique platform to spread a positive message and to implement equality on societies.”
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