Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Non-league Incider: Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 East Thurrock United

When I was more young and foolish I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't visit a football stadium until I visited Vallekas. Frustrated by my inability to plan a trip, I broke that promise by watching a game in the sixth tier of English football.

This is that game. This is my story.

If I've learnt anything, it's this: never make promises to yourself. Promises to yourself are like bonds to an imaginary world - they're not attached to anything. Instead, they only serve to frustrate you, and sometimes those around you.

In 2016, I remember being outside Wembley and not going inside for a stadium tour. In 2014, I remember giving up the opportunity to watch Real Madrid play AC Milan in Dubai. For a year the stadiums of Chelsea and Fulham were on the same street as mine. For three years, every time my friend said he was going to watch Leyton Orient, every time my brother talked about his love for Arsenal, every time I looked at a map of London and saw how close I was to the …

Non-league Incider: Cray Valley Paper Mills 4-4 Punjab United Gravesend

Last game: 9th August: St Helens Town 3-0 Atherton Laburnum Rovers
After ripping up my groundhopping calendar, mostly because I was determined to avoid overnight travel, and partly due to other commitments, there was a period of time where non-league football took a backseat.
But that period did not last long. Because of course it didn't.

Secretly, I'd loved travelling over ten hours back-and-forth to watch some 10th division football. And this was 9th division football in London.
When I had gone to East Dulwich exactly a week back, I had commented on how the amount of graffiti struck me as I watched from on board a southeastern train. I was going the exact same way, but much further this time - then I had stopped at Denmark Hill, now I would have to go six stations further. The graffiti I had thought was so emblematic of south London quickly disappeared, as did the tall buildings desperately cluttered together. We, and by we I mean me, were going to the suburbs. The stations be…

Non-league Incider: St Helens Town 3-0 Atherton Laburnum Rovers

Last game: 8th August: Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 East Thurrock United

The previous day, I was blown away by my first ever football match experience. Dulwich Hamlet impressed me, but what impressed me more was the journey. The travel to the stadium was just as enjoyable as the football itself.

I had caught the groundhopping bug.

There were no games scheduled for the 9th of August. There was one, near Wigan, and all I had booked earlier was a refundable bus ticket from Manchester Airport leaving at quarter past midnight.

I should have refunded it. This was a mistake. This whole day was a mistake.

I was only slightly hungover from the previous night, but that was nothing compared to this feeling of loss - I couldn't handle the fact that there was a game happening. And I wasn't too far away. Just three hours and a bit. They'll fly by, I thought.

I was in autopilot. Something within me made me get up, grab a bag, and get out the door. This wasn't me. I wasn't travelling - I was …