One-handed soccer player makes historical debut in Spain | inside World Soccer

One-handed soccer player makes historical debut in Spain

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Real Zaragoza striker Álex Sánchez has become the first player with one hand to appear in La Liga following his brief substitute appearance in Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Valencia.

The appearance of the 20-year-old, who was born without his right hand, is even more of a fairytale as just two years ago he was playing amateur football.

Álex was spotted playing for the University of Zaragoza team, where he is currently into his third year of studying law.

On the verge of quitting the game completely to concentrate on his studies, Álex's coach convinced him to continue, and his rapid rise up five divisions to the top flight culminated in him replacing midfielder Lafita for the final quarter of an hour at the Mestalla on Sunday.

It was the third time that Álex had been included in Marcelino's squad, having scored 12 goals in ten games for Zaragoza's reserve side.

However, his debut didn't go as planned. He was relatively anonymous in the dying stages, while he was also booked for a dive in the hosts' penalty area.

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