Alex Sanchez is the one-handed La Liga star who made football history

Alex Sanchez is just 31 and still playing in the third tier of Spanish football, though he will always be remembered for making football history.

It has been over 11 years now since the striker became the first player to appear in a professional game with just one hand.

He played 20 minutes for Real Zaragoza in their loss to Valencia and would go on to make two more La Liga appearances.

And the striker, who was born without a right hand, still remembers that day like it was yesterday.

"I remember every single moment of that November 8th," Sanchez told SPORTbible. "I was so nervous because there were more than 50,000 at the stadium that day.

“It's all I could think about when I was warming up but everything changed when the coach told me to come on. At that moment, I just got focused on enjoying the game as much as possible.

"After the game, I got hundreds of messages and calls on my phone but I called my family straight away to share my happiness with them.

"At the beginning it was really hard because, theoretically speaking, I had to pass an exam every single day but you get used to it.

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"I taught myself how to manage the pressure. When you get into professional football, you realise that some teammates do not want you to succeed and that was pretty hard too.

“Football is the most individual of the collective sports and you have to be ready for that."

Sanchez, currently at Tudelano, was determined to never let his disability stop him from trying to achieve his ultimate dream.

He added: "My childhood was full of joy and happiness. I never had any problem with my disability because I always accepted myself as I was.

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“I reckon that playing football was the biggest challenge at that age but I have always had two legs to kick the ball. That was the most important factor to me growing up.

"I never paid a lot of attention to stranger's opinions. Plenty of people who talk about football have never even kicked a ball.

"I think it is really important to normalise having a disability at an early age. To be a role model is a beautiful thing. There was no such role model when I was a kid, so if I can help I would be happy."

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Sanchez hopes to continue playing for a few more years yet, and is set to release a book in the coming months.

He continued: "Life is about passion and I have always been very passionate about football and law.

“I have spent my whole life playing football so I hope to spend the rest of my work life in something related to law.

"I'm excited about the next chapter of my life."

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