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The Championship also breathes Andalusia

March 15, 2021
The Championship also breathes Andalusia

Iván Sánchez is an Andalusian footballer who was born in a small village in Jaén, Campillo de Arenas. Last season he played for Elche in the Spanish Second Division. With Elche he was promoted to the Primera División. His great performance with Elche caught the attention of Aitor Karanka, coach of Birmingham City, who play in the Championship. From there, Iván started playing in the Championship at the age of 28. In England, Iván is surpassing his numbers from last season. Unfortunately for the Andalusian player, Birmingham is struggling for relegation. They are twenty-first in the table and only three points clear of relegation. Fortunately for him, he is starting the vast majority of matches. Iván Sánchez plays as a right-winger, although under Karanka he is also playing as an attacking midfielder.

Iván Sánchez began his career at Real Jaén and went on to play for Atlético de Madrid B, Almería, and Albacete before joining Elche and moving up to the Spanish Primera División, which has been the greatest achievement of his career. On 27 August 2020, Sánchez signed as a free agent for English Championship club Birmingham City; he agreed to a three-year contract with the option of a fourth. He made his debut in the starting eleven for Birmingham’s opening fixture of the Championship season, at home to Brentford on 12 September. He was named in the Championship Team of the Month for September.

Dani Sánchez Ayala plays for Blackburn Rovers, currently 14th in the Championship. Ayala was born in Seville, specifically in El Saucejo, and is 30 years old. He is the second Andalusian who is playing in the Championship and the fourth who is playing in England between the First and Second Division. Dani plays for Blackburn Rovers this season 20/21, but unlike Ivan, the Sevillian has been playing in England for several years. Practically his entire sporting career.

Ayala came out of the Sevilla youth academy, but at the age of 17, he was quickly signed by Liverpool for their academy and started playing for the Reds’ U18s. Apart from playing a few games for Liverpool’s first team, Dani Sánchez Ayala has also played for Hull City, Derby County, Norwich City, Nottingham Forest, and Middlesbrough. Ayala is a central defender and this season he is not having any luck with injuries, so he is not playing many minutes. It was at Middlesbrough, both in the Premier League, playing 14 games in the 16/17 season and scoring one goal, and in the Championship, where he had more continuity.