León in action for Real Madrid
|Full name||Pedro León Sánchez Gil|
|Date of birth||24 November 1986|
|Place of birth||Mula, Spain|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|2011–2013||→ Getafe (loan)||42||(5)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12 May 2019|
After making a name for himself at Valladolid and Getafe, he transferred to Real Madrid in 2010. He left after a sole season troubled by problems with the management, going on to represent Getafe and Eibar also in La Liga and make 291 appearances in the competition (41 goals scored).
After a spell with the B-team, he made his official debut with the main squad on 15 January 2005, in a Segunda División 1–5 loss away loss against UE Lleida, going on to play a further six matches during the season and scoring in a 3–1 win at neighbouring Ciudad de Murcia.
The following two seasons, León became an integral player for Murcia, netting seven goals in the 2006–07 campaign, several from free kicks, as the side returned to La Liga after a three-year absence. In January 2007, he was rumoured to be moving to Real Madrid or Chelsea, being speculated that the latter would buy him for £3.4 million. Instead, he joined modest Levante UD in the summer for £2.5 million after rejecting an offer from to renew his contract for €1 million, in a move the club found quite offensive.
During 2007–08, León often underachieved, starting only 11 times from 24 appearances as Levante returned to the second level. He also ended up training alone, due to problems with management and teammates alike.
Valladolid / GetafeEdit
On 13 September 2008, Real Valladolid bought León for €300,000 after a quick negotiation. Soon becoming a first-choice, he provided his first assist for Fabián Canobbio on 15 November in a 1–0 home win against Real Madrid, netting his first for the club a week later in a 3–0 away success over Villarreal CF.
After lengthy negotiations with Getafe CF, with the player appearing very rarely for Valladolid in pre-season, a five-year contract worth around €4 million was finally arranged in August 2009. León scored nine goals in official matches during the season (eight in the league, with nine assists), as the Madrilenians finished sixth and qualified for the UEFA Europa League for the second time in their history.
On 15 July 2010, Real Madrid confirmed the transfer of León for €10 million. The player passed the pertinent medical test and was presented the following day. He made his debut on 4 August in a friendly match with Club América, playing the full match in a 3–2 win; in his second appearance, four days later, he scored against the LA Galaxy as the match ended with the same score.
On 3 November 2010, León scored his first competitive goal for Real Madrid, combining with Karim Benzema – both players had come from the bench during the second half – for a last-minute goal at A.C. Milan for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, a 2–2 draw that sent the Spaniards through to the knockout stage. During the course of the league season, however, he appeared rarely: after assuming he would start against AJ Auxerre in the Champions League in late September, he was immediately dropped from the list of 18 by coach José Mourinho. Later, he was ridiculed in the press by his own manager when the latter justified his absence. In early February 2011, both he and teammate Fernando Gago were dropped from the squad that would face Sevilla FC in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey, for fighting in training; Gago was however picked for the next match, whereas León was not.
Chelsea renewed their interest in taking León on loan in the winter transfer window, but no move took place – he reportedly blamed Mourinho for blocking the move. In March 2011, after the market had closed, Hércules CF tried to acquire the player on loan following Tote's severe knee injury, but Real Madrid refused again.
At the end of the 2011 summer transfer window, León returned to former club Getafe on a season-long loan. He scored the first goal of his second spell on 1 October, with a spectacular long-range strike at Málaga CF in a 2–3 loss; the move was extended for the following campaign.
León was not allowed to be registered for the start of 2014–15, as the club had exceeded the €17 million salary cap. The situation was finally resolved on 24 November, the day of the player's 28th birthday.
On 5 July 2016, after Getafe's relegation, León signed a two-year deal with SD Eibar also in the top tier. He scored a career-best ten goals in his first season – only behind Sergi Enrich's 11 in the squad– but missed the vast majority of the following after replapsing from a left knee injury.
León made his debut for the Spain national under-21 team on 31 January 2007. On 6 February, Iñaki Sáez played him again in a friendly with England, in which he was replaced by Juan Mata in a 2–2 away draw. He also featured in the 2009 European Championship qualifier against Georgia, coming on for Alejandro Alfaro in the second half a 1–0 away win.
León was not his surname, but he carried it as a middle name in memory of his grandfather and eldest brother, who both died in 2006 (the latter in a motorbike accident), and tended to just go by the name León rather than León Sánchez (as his two brothers), also celebrating his goals by pointing to the sky.
- As of 23 February 2019
- "Golea el Lleida y aleja los fantasmas" [Lleida rout and chase ghosts away] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 16 January 2005. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
- "El derbi murciano, para los de Casuco" [Murcian derby, to Casuco's boys] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 9 May 2005. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
- "Real Madrid's corner: The misfortune of Pedro León". The Hard Tackle. 11 March 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
- "Pedro León tiene un acuerdo de cinco años con el Levante" [Pedro León has a five-year agreement with Levante] (in Spanish). Diario AS. 14 July 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
- Real edge closer to title after 3–0 win; Dalje, 27 April 2008
- "Pedro León: "Le deseo lo mejor al Murcia desde el domingo"" [Pedro León: "I wish nothing but the best to Murcia from Sunday onwards"] (in Spanish). Marca. 24 January 2008. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
- "Los desencuentros de Pedro León" [Pedro León's run-ins] (in Spanish). La Verdad. 29 September 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
- "Quiero ser como Pedro León" [Bend it like Pedro León] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 30 March 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
- "Los nombres de la quiniela" [Names in the lottery] (in Spanish). El Norte de Castilla. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
- Valladolid 1–0 Real Madrid; ESPN Soccernet, 15 November 2008
- Villarreal 0–3 Valladolid; ESPN Soccernet, 22 November 2008
- El Getafe cierra el fichaje de Pedro León (Getafe complete Pedro León's signing); Marca, 25 August 2009 (in Spanish)
- "Getafe's Pedro León on the way back to being Pedro León again". The Guardian. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
- Official announcement Archived 4 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine; Real Madrid CF, 15 July 2010
- Pedro León: "Estoy muy emocionado" (Pedro León: "I am very excited"); Diario AS, 15 July 2010 (in Spanish)
- Pedro León presentation Archived 19 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine; Real Madrid CF, 16 July 2010
- "Ronaldo gives Mourinho debut win with Real". ESPN Soccernet. 5 August 2008. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
- The Whites come back to win in Rose Bowl Archived 15 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine; Real Madrid CF, 8 August 2010
- Last-ditch León takes Madrid through in Milan Archived 7 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine; UEFA, 3 November 2010
- Jose Mourinho dropped Pedro Leon for getting too cocky; Total Football Madness, 30 September 2010
- Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho: Pedro Leon is no Zinedine Zidane; NBC Sports, 27 September 2010
- Real Madrid duo Pedro Leon and Fernando Gago involved in training ground altercation; Goal, 2 February 2011
- Chelsea send proposal to Real Madrid for Pedro Leon; Inside Futbol, 29 January 2011
- "Pedro Leon: Mourinho blocked my move to Chelsea". Daily Mirror. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- "El Real Madrid dice "no" al Hércules por Pedro León" [Real Madrid say "no" to Hércules for Pedro León] (in Spanish). Marca. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Official announcement Archived 15 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine; Real Madrid CF, 31 August 2011
- Malaga hit back to sink Getafe; ESPN Soccernet, 1 October 2011
- Getafe 'ficha' a Pedro León por un año más a coste cero (Getafe 'sign' Pedro León for another year for nothing); Goal, 28 June 2012 (in Spanish)
- "Getafe keep on climbing". ESPN FC. 6 October 2013. Archived from the original on 27 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- "Pedro León, sin ficha por el límite salarial" [Pedro León, unregistered due to salary cap] (in Spanish). La Verdad. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
- "El mejor regalo de cumpleaños" [The best birthday present] (in Spanish). Marca. 24 November 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- "SD Eibar ficha a Pedro León Sánchez Gil por dos temporadas" [SD Eibar sign Pedro León Sánchez Gil for two seasons] (in Spanish). SD Eibar. 5 July 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- "Enrich, Pedro León y Kike García, el 50% de los goles del Eibar" [Enrich, Pedro León and Kike García, 50% of Eibar's goals] (in Spanish). El Desmarque. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
- "Pedro León recae de su lesión y volverá a pasar por el quirófano" [Pedro León relapses from injury and will visit operating room again] (in Spanish). Marca. 15 November 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
- England U21 2–2 Spain U21; BBC Sport, 6 February 2007
- "Bojan ejerció como revulsivo en su debut" [Bojan was the spark in his debut] (in Spanish). Sport. 6 June 2007. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
- Spain beat Finland but fail to qualify; Goal, 22 June 2009
- "El fútbol está sobrevalorado, y el ciclismo, machacado" ("Football is overrated, and cycling, through the dirt"); El País, 5 January 2009 (in Spanish)
- "Pedro León". Soccerway. Retrieved 3 April 2014.