Alex Sanchez, Spanish footballer born without right hand, makes his debut for Gokulam Kerala

Alex Sanchez, the Spanish striker who was born without a right hand, made his debut for Gokulam Kerala FC in the Durand Cup on Wednesday. The 34-year-old, who has played in La Liga for Osasuna, joined the I-League club on a one-year deal this season. He is the first and only footballer with a disability to play professional football.

Sanchez started the match against Indian Air Force (IAF) and played for 72 minutes before being substituted. The Spanish forward showed his skills and experience on the field and even got an assist as he put through Sreekuttan who dinked it over the keeper for the second goal.  Gokulam Kerala won the match 2-0, thanks to goals from Sourav Das and Sourav and Sreekuttan. 

Sanchez has overcome many challenges in his life to pursue his passion for football. He was born without a right hand due to a congenital condition called amelia and faced discrimination and bullying as a child, but he did not let that stop him from playing football. Football ultimately helped him integrate into society from the very beginning and as a kid growing up, he was, in his own words, “extremely lucky” to grow up in a family that gave him so much love and support.

Sanchez made 127 appearances in the Spanish third tier, scoring 42 goals and getting 16 assists, and also made three appearances in the top tier. He netted 13 goals in 33 matches for Ejea last season, before signing for Gokulam Kerala this summer.

Away from the pitch, Sanchez has also completed a PhD in Law, a Master’s degree in Politics and even written a book on human rights in sport; a subject he feels strongly about. Sanchez’s story is one of resilience and triumph over adversity where he has defied the odds and made history with his remarkable career.

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