César in 2010
|Full name||César Sánchez Domínguez|
|Date of birth||2 September 1971|
|Place of birth||Coria, Spain|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
In exactly 20 La Liga seasons (the only competition he appeared in as a professional) he played in 401 games, with Valladolid, Real Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia and Villarreal, being first-choice in three of those clubs and winning seven major titles with the second, including the 2002 Champions League.
Valladolid / Real Madrid
César was born in Coria, Cáceres, Extremadura. He graduated through Real Valladolid's youth ranks, and made his debut with the first team in a 0–6 home defeat against FC Barcelona, at the end of the 1991–92 season. He only missed four league games between 1995–2000 combined.
Sánchez signed in 2000–01 for La Liga giants Real Madrid, initially backing-up wonderkid Iker Casillas. However, the following season, he eventually became first-choice and started five out of nine UEFA Champions League matches during the capital side's victorious campaign, but was substituted by Casillas in the final against Bayer 04 Leverkusen after suffering an injury.
Zaragoza / Tottenham
In 2005–06 César joined Real Zaragoza, and was everpresent in the Aragonese side's lineups during three seasons. In August 2008, after Zaragoza's relegation to the second division, new boss Marcelino García Toral sidelined the player into the B-team.
Shortly after, Sánchez was bought by Juande Ramos's Tottenham Hotspur. He made his first and only appearance for the London club against Liverpool, in a 4–2 win for the season's Football League Cup, replacing injured Heurelho Gomes.
Valencia / Later years
On 20 January 2009 César returned to Spain, joining Valencia CF on a free transfer until the end of the season– the Che had just lost first-choice Renan to a groin injury, during a 2–3 loss at Athletic Bilbao. Despite this, César was still named on the bench for a Tottenham game on the 21st, the League Cup semifinal second leg against Burnley; two days later Tottenham announced that his contract had been cancelled by mutual consent, and he retained his starting status even when the Brazilian recovered from his injury.
After an impressive half-season, César (aged almost 38) renewed his link for another year. He started the 2009–10 campaign on the bench, playing second-fiddle to new signing Miguel Ángel Moyà; however, after unconvincing displays by the latter, he regained the starting spot, keeping consecutive clean sheets against Racing de Santander (1–0), defending champions Barcelona (0–0), UD Almería (3–0) and Málaga CF (1–0). In May 2010, after helping Valencia to the third place, with the team consequently returning to the Champions League, the veteran renewed his contract for another season.
On 2 April 2011, César became the second oldest goalkeeper in Spanish League history as he appeared – as a starter – in a 4–2 away win against Getafe CF, aged 39 years and 212 days. He contributed with 15 games as Valencia finished third and qualified to the Champions League.
However, after the club acquired Diego Alves and renewed youth graduate Vicente Guaita's contract, César became surplus to requirements. On 2 June 2011 he signed a one-year contract with Valencian Community neighbours Villarreal CF, making his league debut on 10 September in a 2–2 home draw against Sevilla FC: after replacing sent off Diego López early into the first half, he stopped the ensuing penalty by Álvaro Negredo, whom however managed to score with a putback. Subsequently, he became only the fifth player to appear in a Spanish top division match over the age of 40, following Harry Lowe, Jacques Songo'o, Amedeo Carboni and Donato.
- Real Madrid
- UEFA Champions League: 2001–02
- La Liga: 2000–01, 2002–03
- Intercontinental Cup: 2002
- UEFA Super Cup: 2002
- Supercopa de España: 2001, 2003
- César switches to Zaragoza; UEFA.com, 13 June 2005
- "Sánchez signs". Tottenham Hotspur. 12 August 2008.
- "Tottenham 4–2 Liverpool". BBC Sport. 11 November 2008.
- César es el elegido (César is the chosen one); Levante EMV, 21 January 2009 (Spanish)
- "Sanchez departs". Tottenham Hotspur. 23 January 2009.
- César renueva con el Valencia (César renews with Valencia); Marca, 24 June 2009 (Spanish)
- "César, el portero más veterano de la Liga" [César, the League's most veteran goalkeeper]. Super Deporte. 2 April 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- "Cesar Sanchez joins Villarreal". Goal.com. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- "Villarreal claim battling draw". ESPN Soccernet. 10 September 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- Última alegría para el Deportivo (Last joy for Deportivo); ESPN Deportes, 23 May 2004 (Spanish)
- Desastre (Disaster); El Mundo Deportivo, 17 August 2000 (Spanish)