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SPANISH ARMADA...Isaias Sanchez takes on Real Madrid's Esteban Granero in 2011
Adelaide United has confirmed it has signed Spanish duo Isaias Sanchez and Sergio Cirio for the upcoming A-League campaign.
Midfielder Sanchez and wing-forward Cirio will join the Reds squad later this month, along with the imminent arrival of coach Josep Gombau and assistant Pau Marti as part of the club’s new Spanish influence.
Sanchez, 26, has been signed from Ponferradina in the Spanish Segunda Division and has played at the highest level in Spain in La Liga with Espanyol.
Cirio has been signed from Segunda Division club Hospitalet, where he was the club’s leading scorer with 22 goals for the past season playing as a left winger.
The 28-year-old has previously played for Greek Super League club Atromitos.
“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.
Being familiar with the coaching methods of Gombau also played a big part in his decision to join the Reds.
“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,” Cirio said.
“The new project led by coach Josep Gombau based on the Barcelona philosophy fits very much with my football style learned in the Barcelona Academy where I spent almost 10 years.”
Sanchez and Cirio are products of the famed Barcelona youth system having gone through the youth teams before moving to other Spanish clubs in search of first-team opportunities.
Both players are also well known to new Gombau and were targeted as recruits during the recent visit to Spain of Football Director Michael Petrillo.
“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”, Petrillo said.
“It’s fantastic to be able to attract a player who has just turned 26 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.”
Petrillo said Cirio was an interesting player and one who will bring a different dimension to the Reds front line this season.
“Sergio is one of those players who can play in a variety of positions,” Petrillo said. “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.
"It was important that Josep had the ability to bring in players familiar with his philosophy and who can assist in integrating that philosophy on the field."
Both players are currently on holidays in Europe. Sanchez will join the squad later this month whilst Cirio, who has just completed play-off games last week with his club, will arrive in early August.
The signings of Sanchez and Cirio brings the squad number to 22 players with one spot still left to fill the roster for the 2013-14 season.