Hyderabad FC announced the signing of 35-year-old Spanish striker Fran Sandaza on a one-year deal as their sixth foreign signing ahead of the seventh edition of the Indian Super League (ISL). Sandaza last played in Spanish side Alcorcon and in the 2019-20 season, he played La Liga 2 and Copa del Rey, scoring a total of three goals.
In La Liga 2, he scored 3 goals and made two assists in 21 appearances while he made just one appearance in Copa del Rey. The striker has two piece of silverware to his name, Scottish FA Cup trophy (he won with Dundee United) and English League One title, which he won with the now-Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion.
Sandaza has prior Asian experience, having played in Japan with FC Tokyo in 2015 and then with the Chinese side Qingdao Huanghai. The striker rose through the ranks at Leganes and Coslada before turning out for his hometown side CD Toledo. He then moved to Valencia Reserves and after playing for Onda and Pucolis on loan, Sandaza headed overseas joining Dundee United in 2008. He then played for Brighton after which he moved back to Scotland with St. Johnstone and then a stint with Glasgow giants Rangers FC.
He then returned to Spain and featured for CD Lugo and Girona in the Segunda Division before moving to Japan in 2015. With FC Tokyo, he also played in the AFC Champions League. Sandaza then returned to Spain with Girona and was part of the team that finished second in the Segunda Division to earn promotion to the La Liga. The following season he went to China after which he moved back to Spain with Alcorcon.
“I am very happy and excited to sign for this club. It is a new challenge in my career and I am eager to arrive in India start training with my new teammates. The Indian Super League is improving every year. A lot of good players have played in the league so far. I have played with and against a few of them that have told me good things about the ISL, so I am keen to be part of it," said Sandaza after completing formalities.
Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez believes Sandaza will be a huge asset for the club this season. “Fran Sandaza is a very known striker in Spain. He is a strong and a technically gifted player and he has experienced football at various levels in Spain, the UK, Japan and China. He is a complete forward who likes to score goals and create chances for his teammates."
Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Sandaza added, “My aim is to work hard to try and contribute as many goals for the team. It’s going to be a challenging season and I will give my one hundred percent every time I am on the pitch."