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Disabled footballer is a role model

PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 06: Siem De Jong of Sydney FC celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal during the FFA Cup Semi Final match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC at Panthers Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
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Alex Sanchez made history when he became the first professional player to appear in a football match with just one hand

On November 8, 2009, Alex Sanchez made his professional debut with Spanish La Liga club Zaragoza.

He became the first footballer to appear in a professional game with only one hand.

And after some years in the Spanish Segunda División B, he decided in 2018 to move to Australia to play with Sydney Olympic.

In his new club, he’s being considered a role model.

“Honestly I don’t know if some coaches didn’t want to pick me because I was born with one hand because I just tried to enjoy myself on the pitch and I didn’t care about the rest,” he told FTBL.

“I have been playing football since I was eight and it has made me really happy because I have enjoyed every single minute of it.”

“So, football has been really important in my life for that reason. It made me feel like part of society from the beginning,” he added.

“When I was in Spain I just wanted to be known for soccer. But now that I am older I see that it’s really good to be a role model – because it’s important for the kids.”

“Especially because I am in Australia it’s special for me. It’s important for other people because I come here as an inspiration and a role model for them,” he explained.

“It’s pretty important for me because I didn’t have someone I could mirror myself on when I was young – there was no role model when I was a kid.”