Maxi Sánchez, who recently announced his new association with Gonzalo Rubio for 2024, returns to various current topics for us.

Injured in the foot for a year and a half…

Padel Magazine : Let's talk about your injury first. How are you ? Are you completely 100% recovered?

Maxi Sanchez: Everything is fine. I'm ten weeks along and a few days ago I started training on the track. I have a lot of pain only at the beginning: that was the main objective of the operation, to eliminate the pain that I had had in my foot for about a season and a half and which was bothering me considerably.

The first sensations are excellent. I still have some pain, which is normal after an operation, but much less than at the beginning. I still have some time to recover, but I'm doing very well. I'm progressing almost at a record pace so I'm very happy.

Padel Magazine : Can we expect to see you at 100% for the start of the season?

Maxi Sanchez: Absolutely. The idea is, from the second week of January, to work 100% with the team and do around four or five weeks of intense pre-season to be 100% for the start of the season. Premier Padel, during the first tournament which will begin on February 26 in Riyadh.

Maxi Sanchez successful Achilles tendon operation 2023

The 2024 calendar

Padel Magazine : Let’s talk about this calendar!

Maxi Sanchez: We worked with the PPA and Premier Padel included us in decisions, especially sporting ones. We worked on the calendar, the dates of the tournaments, with particular emphasis on the rest of the players. As you said, the last two seasons were difficult because of the two circuits, and the players were ready to put in the effort. However, we have found that a season of 30-35 tournaments for professional players, given the current competitive level, is very difficult for the players.

We have seen many player injuries in recent months, and what was particularly concerning were the injuries to younger players. I think that Premier Padel has developed an excellent schedule with the help of the PPA, and we will have 24 tournaments well organized and well distributed so that the player can do his job in the best possible way, with the breaks that we have planned to be able to perform at 100% .


On the track until he’s 40?

Padel Magazine : You are 37 years old, Bela said he would play for another year, Paquito, who is younger, also mentioned the subject of retirement. How many years do you think you have left or how many years would you like to continue playing?

Maxi Sánchez : Bela, his career is enviable, because he is 44 years old, I think he will retire at 45 next season, as he announced. For my part, I hope to be able to reach 40 years old.

My motivation and my enthusiasm as an athlete is to play until the age of 40, I would love to, especially at this stage of the padel professional, where beautiful things are emerging. I can't complain about what I experienced in sport, I enjoy every place and every tournament. I experienced the beginnings of this sport, as an Argentinian player who participated in the Argentinian circuit, then I came to Spain when things were starting to fall into place, although I did not arrive at the very beginning unlike Bela, Juan Martín Díaz, Mati Díaz, Gastón Malacalza, Nerone, Reca, who arrived before the padel professional is well established in Spain…

I got halfway through this evolution and I also experienced things at the grassroots, seeing how it was evolving. I lived the ten years of World Padel Tour and now I hope to be able to experience at least three or four years of this new circuit that we will have, and I think that will be the pinnacle of this sport.

Left-handers are very popular

Padel Magazine : Next year you will play with Gonzalo Rubio. After Lucho Capra, you chose another left-handed player. Is it a coincidence or were you specifically looking for a left-hander?

Maxi Sanchez: Today, left-handers are very popular. It is almost proven that the best pairs are formed by a left-hander and a right-hander. In Gonzalo, I saw a young man who was very motivated and eager to improve. He asked me several times to team up with him.

I had it in the back of my mind, I was observing it. He has made significant progress in all aspects of his game this season. And when we decided to take different paths with Lucho, I saw in him a possibility to continue with a playing structure that would help me, because I really need help in the center of the field.

Being a powerful left-hander, with good physique, a good smash and who covers a lot of ground, I think he can help me a lot. And obviously, I think I can help Gonzalo too. It wasn't difficult to make this choice because I was thinking of left-handed and together I think we can have an excellent season.


Padel Magazine : The first objective will be to make your return to the Master Final?

Maxi Sanchez: Exactly. The Master Final is almost the most important tournament of the season for a player, because it rewards everything you have done during the season and it is a gift at the end of the year to be able to participate in it.

All the players want to be present during this great competition, the best of the year. I was able to participate almost every year (I was a substitute during the period of Padel Pro Tour) and I would really like to be among the top 16 again who have access to the Master Final. It’s a great reward for the season and for the performance you provided. This means that you have had a good season and that you have the right to play this big tournament that everyone wants to play.

Padel Magazine : We talked about the end of your adventure with Lucho Capra. You closed your third stage together. Would you consider getting back together someday, or is three enough?

Maxi Sanchez: You never know because we always have to choose the best option to stay competitive. Sometimes we have no other option, or we know that with this player we can give the best of ourselves.

With Lucho, the three times we played together, we went through difficult times, good times, but we always, I think, gave our best on the pitch. It's important to have a player at your side who gets the best out of your performance. And with Lucho, we did it.

I don't know if we will play one more season, but I can tell you that Lucho is a great friend, I respect him a lot. I have known his whole family for a long time and I like them very much. So, we are friends and anything can happen, you never know.

“Lucho couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play with Bela”

Padel Magazine : Why did you not want to continue in 2024?

Maxi Sanchez: We had a good season until my injury. We felt like we were playing well, we made some big changes, Lucho was really improving as a player, but we didn't decide to play another year together because he received the call from Bela.

Bela offered to play his last season with him. He is a player who has won everything, who is almost the biggest winner in the history of padel. And I think it was a very good opportunity for Lucho. We talked about it, he called me and we talked about it. I'm delighted that he can play alongside Fernando. I think he will have a good season and that he will learn a lot alongside such a player. Ultimately, it's not that we didn't want to continue playing together, but he had this opportunity and I think he couldn't pass it up.

Padel Magazine : If there is a Sánchez/Rubio versus Bela/Capra match, who will win?

Maxi Sanchez: Every time I go on the field I don't have any friends, I always like to win, we are super competitive, so I will give everything to win. Off the field, before the match, we will have a good time with Lucho. Right after the match, I don’t know (laughs), but there’s always a great friendship, and that’s what really counts!

What’s new with Kuikma in 2024?

Padel Magazine : What’s new for Maxi x Kuikma in 2024?

Maxi Sanchez: I am extremely satisfied with my collaboration with Kuikma, and I feel very motivated by the great project they have as a brand. Since almost the beginning of their creation, I have been involved in the Pro line of my racket and that of Lucía, and this experience delights me.

I actively participated in the entire racquet design process, gave my input, and believe it is crucial for a player to feel completely comfortable with their equipment. The racket performs exceptionally well, and I am fully satisfied with the work Kuikma has done.

Regarding textiles, satisfaction is also reserved: it gives me great satisfaction to see my logo on Kuikma clothing. As for the shoes, I consider them to be the best on the market. My involvement in the design of this product allowed me to see that the team of professionals behind Kuikma is highly competent.

These shoes combine all the essential characteristics for a football player. padel. They offer exceptional height and cushioning, allowing great freedom of movement and jumping, while ensuring optimal safety for the foot.

I’m excited about the trajectory Kuikma is on and I’m confident the brand will continue to grow. Their approach and work ethic, combined with the expertise of their team, position them as a major player in the world of padel.

Regarding the new features, I can't reveal much, but I can assure you that there will be a surprise for the Premier Padel from Madrid. Fans can expect something special from Kuikma at this event!

To find the interview in its entirety (in Spanish), it's just below:

Xan is a fan of padel. But also rugby! And his posts are just as punchy. Physical trainer of several padel, he unearths atypical posts or deals with topical subjects. It also gives you some tips to develop your physique for the padel. Clearly, he imposes his offensive style as on the field of padel !