Spanish connection beginning to bare fruit for A-League club.
It has not taken long for former-Barcelona youth coach Josep Gombau to use his connections in Spain with Adelaide United signing two former Barcelona youth side stars.
In what is hopefully the start of a trend for the Australian club, midfielder Isaias Sanchez and forward Sergio Cirio will join the senior side ahead of the 2013-14 A-League season.
Cirio, who scored 22 goals last season, said the prestige of playing in the A-League is growing with the number of marquee overseas players increasing dramatically in the last two years.
“I know the league is growing every year with new top players like Alessandro Del Piero so it is a good place to be,” Cirio said.
“Because I know Adelaide United is one of the top clubs in the country, and I come here to help the club to win the league. The new project led by coach Josep Gombau based on the FC Barcelona philosophy fits very much with my football style learnt in (the) FC Barcelona academy, where I spent almost 10 years.”
Adelaide’s director of football Michael Petrillo said he spotted the pair during a European scouting mission and said they suited the needs of the team well.
“Both Sergio and Isaias are players of high quality having played at a very high level and we were able to see them with Josep during our recent visit to Spain,” he said.
“It’s fantastic to be able to attract a player who has just turned twenty six years of age and has had experience in La Liga as Sanchez has. He is a central midfielder who Josep knows well and will bring strength, aggression and an abundance of class and skill to the team with his best years still ahead of him.”
“Sergio is one of those players who can play in a variety of positions. Essentially we’ve recruited him as a left winger but as you can see with 22 goals to his credit he is a goal-scorer as well as a player who can penetrate lines out wide or inside.
“He’s coming to us at a great age and will be a really exciting player for our fans to keep an eye on this season.”