“He leaps high, he soars, it’s like an eagle…. another goal to Sánchez!”

For two seasons just before Covid, Alex Sánchez López led the line for Sydney Olympic, embracing the Greek club and the Greek fans who took an instant liking to him.

I remember speaking to Peter Katholos about the striker and he was full of praise for a player who once played at La Liga level. The Socceroos great felt we had a gem on our shores. He was right and Olympic fans sang his praises as he topped the NPL scoring charts.

From 44 matches he scored 34 before returning to Spain just before Covid. I first met Alex at a Greek inspired coffee shop in Hellenic Belmore where he told me how much the club and of course the Greek hospitality had meant to him. Studying law at the time, he reminded me that he also worked part time at a Greek law firm.

Photo: Supplied

Alex inspired me to include him in one of my books, “Once upon a Time in Crystal Palace,” as a fictional version of himself. In Palace; He receives an S.O.S. call up from the manager to leave Belmore Sports Ground to play in the Premier League.

Spoiler alert, he helps Palace in the FA Cup playing alongside a Cypriot and a Greek-Australian with a Brasilian female coach.

In the book as in real life, Alex has a visible disability. In 2009, he became the first player to ever play top flight football with one hand. He played several games in La Liga and he has shown what anyone can achieve despite significant challenges and of course with the love and support of his wonderful family. Alex inspires. He is a gem.

He has now hit the magical mark of 200 goals.

“Is it really 200 goals,” he tells me. In his usual humble manner. He has 16 for his new club in India!

(L) Billy Cotsis and Alex Sanchez (R) with friends. Photo: Supplied

Having played across all the professional divisions in Spain and is now plying his trade in the emerging Indian Premier League where he is the top scorer, playing for Gokulam Kerala.

I remember the last time I had coffee with Alex, he looked like a Greek God rather than a Spanish striker! His good looks, aura and kind persona are just some of his qualities. Last year he published a book.

Here with the Cup. Photo: Supplied

He is a qualified lawyer with an interest in human rights and his official title is ‘Dr’.

Alex is an inspiration for young people, role model for men, people with disabilities and those interested in reaching their goals. I look forward to seeing him again, perhaps somewhere in Greece, until then, I’m sure he will keep the magic going in cricket mad India.

Photo: Supplied

*Billy Cotsis is the author of Once upon a Time in Crystal Palace.