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From Levante to Guizhou, the first Spaniards to play in China: Part 2 - Rafael Jordà (27th November, 2017)

In 2012, a defender, a midfielder and a striker, all playing for Levante, made the bold leap to a country no Spaniard had ever been before.

In late January, 2012, center-back Nano Rivas was sold to Guizhou Renhe. Two months later, in March, striker Rafael Jordà was on his way. And three months later still, in June, diminutive midfielder Rubén Suárez was on his way....

You can read part 1, featuring Nano Rivas, here.



Rafael Jordà was born in Santa Perpètua de Mogoda, Catalonia, and started his youth career at Damm. In 2001, at the age of 17, he moved to Valencia, and a year later to Numancia, where he graduated and made his senior debut with the B team. He was loaned to Segunda B side CM Peralta in the first half of the 2004-05 season, and to Benidorm, also in the Segunda B, in the second half of the 2005-06 season. Jordà would stay with Numancia until 2008 - in his last season, he contributed with six goals in 27 matches as the club returned to the top flight as champions.

In June 2008, news arose of Jordà signing for Alicante in division two and he eventually joined them during that summer, a season that ended in relegation and Rafael moving to neighboring Hércules. In late January 2010, after only three Copa del Rey appearances with the latter, he signed a two-year contract with Levante still in the second tier, helping the club with 5 goals in just 17 appearances as the club earned promotion to the top flight.

Rafael Jordà


In March 2012, aged 28, Jordà moved abroad for the first time in his career, joining Chinese Super League side Guizhou Renhe. In the semi-finals of the Chinese FA Cup against Shandong Luneng Taishan FC, he scored once and provided an assist in an eventual qualification on the away goals rule.

After leaving in January 2014 as a free agent, Jordà represented Italian club Siena, Georgian club Dinamo Tbilisi, Chinese side Wuhan Zall, and Romanian side Rapid București. He would go on to return to Catalonia, signing for Llagostera for the 2016-17 campaign, but this summer has once again moved to distant shores, signing for Indian franchise Mumbai City.

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