Legends: Manuel Sanchis Sr.


Manuel Sanchis Sr.

Manuel Sanchis Martinez was born in Alberique (Valencia), March 26, 1938. He began his career in the youth team of Villanueva de Castellón, to play later in a modest club of his hometown, "Peñas Soriano", where he rose to prominence for his fighting spirit and character, two qualities that accompanied him during his career. As it could not be otherwise, the scouts in the service of the great football clubs put their eyes in that fibrous kid and was Barcelona who took his services for the youth team.

However, in Barcelona he did not enjoy all the opportunities he deserved and was transferred to Condal, where he played four years, from 1957 to 1961. Then he signed for Real Valladolid for three seasons (61-64), where showed the great player he was in his first steps in football. Safety in the midfield and great performance in attack were decisive for his signing for Real Madrid. Sanchis was at that time 26 years old.

The arrival of Sanchis at the Real Madrid occurred in November 1964, but his debut was not until 25 January 1965 at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, the opponent was the team of his birthplace, Valencia. That afternoon the Real Madrid defeated the "Ches" by three goals to nil.

Little by little the Valencian player was winning the number 3 team, undergoing a transformation in his game because he had begun his career as an offense player. However, his exceptional talents, accompanied by a good technique, drove him down to the defense without sacrificing a bit of his goal power. Indeed, without fear of error, we can say Manolo Sanchis was a pioneer in what is now known as pattern of attack defender.

His time in the white team was very successful. Four league titles, three Spanish cups, and above all, the title of European Cup, that Real Madrid earned thanks to the "ye-ye" team in which Sanchis was an important part. Completed his commitment to Real Madrid in the 1970-71 season, he signed by the Cordoba team where he played two seasons and in which finished his career with 34, 18 of them as a player.

Manolo Sanchis was 12 caps for the Spanish national team. Considering that at that time the national teams played one or two international matches per year and Sanchis began wearing the national team shirt when he just turned 26 years old, we conclude that the dozen times that he played is a good brand. However, Sanchis is and will be more memorable than other players who wore the red shirt more times because of the goal he scored against Switzerland at the World Cup in England 66.

Spain had to win the Swiss team to move to the next round. The game was tied and and then Sanchis got a ball in his own area and crossed the field in a flash, dodging everything that was put in front of him, to stand alone with the goalkeeper and beat him. One feature of fury, with the success of the goal, a goal that went around the world.

He continued interested in the world of football and earned the title of coach. With it in his pocket began his teaching career in front of Real Madrid's youth. Later he managed other teams; Castilla, Tenerife, Torrejon, Parla, Daimiel, Don Benito and the Equatorial Guinea national team.

He is married and has three children; Manuel, Elena and Alicia. His son, Manuel Sanchis Jr., following in the footsteps of his father, has triumphed in the ranks of Real Madrid, but that's another story.

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