Spanish plumber to Adelaide legend: Isaias’ journey to the Reds

Getting the dirty work done has never been an issue for Adelaide United skipper Isaias.

The Spaniard has been one of the most tenacious midfield warriors in the Hyundai A-League since his arrival in 2013.

Perhaps it was his ability to juggle life as a plumber while playing his youth career at Catalonia's Badalona Academy which made him into the accomplished player he is today.


“It was a really tough time for me. I finished my high school at 16-years-old and I decided to study as an electrician and a plumber and when I finished the course, I started working for a nice company,” Isaias recalled to www.a-league.com.au.

“I shared my time working from 7am to 6pm and then I was going straight to training. It was tough because I didn’t have time for anything but work and football.

“But it was a good thing for me and once I turned 18 I had a chance to do a pre-season with the first team [at Badalona].

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“I did well and they decided to give me a contract for one season.I decided to quit my job and focus on my professional [football] career.”

It proved a wise move.

Isaias spent four seasons with Badalona before he was signed by current Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino at La Liga club Espanyol.

After making his La Liga debut in 2011, Isaias spent the next two seasons on loan at SD Ponferradina where he helped the club earn promotion to the second division, before receiving a call out of the blue.

Isaias
Isaias in action for Espanyol against Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey

Making the move Down Under

“I remember driving in my car with my wife and getting a call from my agent telling me ‘I received an offer from Australia, would you go?’,” Isaias remembers.

“And I stopped the car straight away and said ‘where? Australia? Give me five minutes and I’ll call you back.’

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“I thought it was a very good moment for me, a good experience and I decided to come.”

Reflecting on it now, Isaias has no doubt it’s been the best decision not only of his career but his life.

Isaías Sanchez becomes an Australian citizen
Isaias became an Australian citizen in January 2019.

Driving Adelaide to Hyundai A-League glory

The 32-year-old has enjoyed wonderful success on the pitch with Adelaide, winning two FFA Cup titles and a Hyundai A-League Championship-Premiership double in 2015/16.

In the Hyundai A-League 2016 Grand Final against Western Sydney Wanderers, Isaias wrote himself into the competition's folklore with a stunning free-kick as the Reds won 3-1 in front of more than 50,000 fans at Adelaide Oval.

“It’s the biggest moment of my career, 100%.

"Because of the moment, because of the importance of the goal and because it was a beautiful goal.

“Now I sometimes watch the video [because it’s on social media] and I really enjoy watching it again.

“I’m a winning mentality player, I want to get trophies every year so for me it was the most successful season for me because we got two trophies.”

WATCH: Isaias' Grand Final stunner!

Playing for the Caltex Socceroos?

Isaias and his family have comfortably settled in Adelaide over the last six years, with the Sabadell-born playmaker now happy to call Australia home.

The Reds skipper gained his Australian citizenship in January and appears likely to end his career in the Hyundai A-League with the Reds.

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So what about the prospect of playing for the Caltex Socceroos one day?

“It would be a pleasure and an honour for me,” Isaias admits.

“I know it’s difficult because there’s plenty of players in Australia that are high quality. Everyone is hungry to be there but it would be a pleasure and an honour of course.”

See the full interview with the Adelaide United skipper in the player at the top of the page.