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2001: Javi Sánchez

The first Spaniard to win 100 caps, Javi Sánchez was the fulcrum of the squad that took his nation to the summit of international futsal.
2001: Javi Sánchez
Javi Sánchez (right) in action in 2003 ©UEFA.com

2001: Javi Sánchez

The first Spaniard to win 100 caps, Javi Sánchez was the fulcrum of the squad that took his nation to the summit of international futsal.

The first Spaniard to win 100 caps, Javi Sánchez was the fulcrum of the squad that took his nation to the summit of international futsal.

Javi Sánchez was 22 when he made his Spain debut in a 6-0 defeat of Uruguay in Madrid on 19 October 1993, and in 1996 aided Spain to victory in the first UEFA European Futsal Tournament and also helped them reach the FIFA Futsal World Cup final. Three years later he was in the Spain side that missed out on the inaugural UEFA European Futsal Championship title on penalties to Russia despite scoring in a 3-3 draw. He also struck in the 2000 World Cup final, a dramatic 4-3 defeat of holders Brazil, and in 2001 Spain travelled to Moscow for the European Championship and made their way to the final with a 2-1 last-four defeat of the hosts. Ukraine now stood in their way but at 40 minutes the score was 1-1. Four minutes into extra time, Javi Sánchez forced his way through and at the second attempt scored; under the golden goal rule, victory was Spain's.

Also part of the side that reached the 2003 semi-finals, Javi Sánchez retired that year having reached a century of caps and helped club Playas de Castellón FS win the first two UEFA Futsal Cups. He spent most of his career with that club, where he is now general manager, winning two league titles before their pair of European triumphs, which itself was preceded in 2000/01 by victory in an unofficial continental competition.

Last updated: 29/01/12 5.03CET

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