Adelaide United’s former Spanish contingent spoke to Jarrod Walsh for episode 4 of The Pitch at Home, brought to you by RAA discussing their time with the Reds and how it was their most enjoyable period of their professional careers.
Isaías Sánchez, Sergio Cirio and Pablo Sánchez revealed they cherished every moment during their stay in the city of churches, which coincided with success on the field to boot.
The trio’s honours with the Club included the inaugural FFA Cup in 2014 before going on to claim an historic Hyundai A-League Premier’s Plate and Championship double a season later.
Indeed, the Spaniards agreed that prevailing 3-1 in the 2016 Grand Final in front of more than 50,000 spectators at Adelaide Oval was their finest achievement.
Isaías, who spent six years with the Reds, serving as Captain for his final two campaigns, scored a sumptuous free-kick to double United’s lead against Western Sydney Wanderers.
The midfield maestro accumulated 181 appearances for Adelaide while collecting a staggering four Aurelio Vidmar Club Champion awards.
“It will be there forever,” the 32-year-old reminisced, who now plays in Qatar.
“I guess I can say that it’s the most beautiful moment I think of my career.
“I think I spent the most beautiful part of my career in Adelaide.
“I spent my best years as a footballer in Adelaide, so not only this Grand Final or not only this goal in the Grand Final that is most special.
“But I guess the whole time that I have been there, it’s something special I’ll never forget.”
Meanwhile, Cirio, who currently plies his trade with UD Ibiza, went on to disclose that he misses his time in South Australia, but looks back with pride after winning three trophies.
“I loved the city, I loved the people in Adelaide,” Cirio said, after registering 30 goals in 114 matches between 2013 and 2017.
“I think as Isa (Isaías) said I spent the most beautiful years of my career in Adelaide.
“The Grand Final, we also got the FFA Cup, we won the regular season of the A-League, we won the Grand Final, we played the Champions League.
“I think we had great years in Adelaide and personally I had one of my best seasons of my career in football.
“As you said I couldn’t speak one word of English when I got to Adelaide the first time, but the people helped me a lot inside the pitch and outside pitch.
“And I have the opportunity now to say thanks to Adelaide, to Australia because you’ve made me a better player and a better person.”
Sánchez quickly became a fan favourite upon his arrival ahead of the 2014/15 season and scored an impressive 19 goals during his two years.
In his final game for the Reds, the then 33-year-old sealed Adelaide’s title decider triumph with a thunderous finish – off the bench – after pouncing on the loose ball to make it 3-1 on 89 minutes.
It sent the stadium into scenes of jubilations as Adelaide’s quest to be Champions was no longer elusive.
“I miss Adelaide so much, the fans, the city, the life there,” he explained.
“I like Spain but Australia is different, I always say it’s the opposite world in terms of my friends, Tanque (Sergio Cirio) and Isa, and Chelo (Marcelo Carrusca).
“It’s a different world and I miss it too much because I left just five days after the Grand Final and I couldn’t enjoy it enough.
“Right now, I’m still watching the videos, watching everything. I’m in retirement so I’m missing the football and two years in Australia was special to me and my family.”