Though the best football of Andrea Orlandi’s career arguably came after he left Swansea City, he has a place in the club’s history for helping them go from League One to the Premier League.
The Spaniard arrived in South Wales in September 2007, having been released by Barcelona earlier that summer, and though he was rarely more than a bit-part player the midfielder notched up 90 appearances over five years.
His exit came a year after the Swans reached the top flight, with his first season at Brighton perhaps the best of his career – seeing him score seven goals and add 11 assists.
Spells at Blackpool, Anorthosis Famagusta, APOEL Nicosia, Novara FC, and Chennaiyin FC would follow before he was forced to hang up his boots prematurely in February 2019.
Orlandi was undergoing a medical for Italian club Virtus Entella when a scar on his left ventricle was discovered, which meant he was forced to retire after 17 years as a professional.
That’s not been the end of his career in football, however, as he joined sports management company BY & FOR after a meeting with a former teammate.
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BY & FOR represent a number of players, including most notably Antoine Greizmann, and Orlandi, now 37, is their football director, which sees him analyse matches and work with young players.
Clearly, the Swans still have a place in his heart as he sent the Swansea City Disabled Supporters Association a message of support in March this year.