Legends: Jose Martinez 'Pirri'


Jose Martinez Sanchez "Pirri"

Jose Martinez Sanchez, known by his nickname 'Pirri', was born in Ceuta in 1945 and began playing football in the teams; Imperio Riffien, Sociedad Deportiva Ceuta and Atletico Ceuta, highlighting in all these teams in which he played. While giving his first steps into the world of football was studying at the Augustinians of Ceuta.

At 18 he moved to Granada to continue his studies. There he joins the local team, the Granada CF, where he begins making a name in Spanish football. In season 1963-64, "Pirri" is called to play in the Spanish selection of fans for his great performances in Granada. He plays on the right wing as midfielder.

Real Madrid was living a time of change. The team was veteran and needed updating. Men such as Alfredo Di Stefano, are replaced by Grosso, came Mogollon and Sancho, De Felipe joined the team after have been on loan at Rayo Vallecano... Jose Martinez "Pirri", joined the Whites in 1964, and had the difficult mission to replace Ferenc Puskas.

Began that season the famous team of "Ye-ye", consisting of eleven Spanish players led by Francisco Gento. In his first year in white, "Pirri" won the first of the ten Leagues he would win in his time as a player for Real Madrid. From midfield to defense, to end up as free defender. His efforts made ​​him one of the legendary players of Real Madrid, being the sixth player in team history that more often has worn the white jersey in the Spanish League (417).

Without doubt, two events marked the sporting history of "Pirri". In 1966, Real Madrid was one of the youngest teams in Europe, and despite his inexperience, won the continental title in a very emotional final played at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels, against Partizan Belgrade.

Five years later, "Pirri" lived one of the saddest chapters of his sporting life, during the final of the Cup Winners' Cup 1971, lost against Chelsea. "Pirri" was injured during the first match, which ended in a draw, and went down in history for having played the game with his arm in a sling for a broken collarbone. They had to play a match tiebreaker and the title was won by the English. The image of "Pirri" with his arm close to his body, under the white shirt is one of the images that will go down in football history. Four years later, in 1975 he played a Spanish Cup final, against FC Barcelona, with his jaw broken. Therefore he was awarded by the Real Madrid with the first 'Laureada', the most important badge of the club that was given him by then club president Don Santiago Bernabeu.

Midfielder, defender, makeshift striker. If something was characteristic in "Pirri" was his versatility. His quality and strength combined perfectly with the claw and the anger that showed on the pitch. In addition to his defensive qualities, "Pirri" was a scorer, achieving 170 goals in his sixteen seasons with the shirt of Real Madrid (561 matches).

In 1980 he moved to FC Puebla Mexico, where he played his final two seasons and finished his Medicine studies. Back in Spain, he joined the Real Madrid medical staff and then his coach team. In 2000 he was general manager of Real Madrid, leaving the position with the arrival of Jorge Valdano in September of that year.

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