Biography

Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez is a Chilean footballer currently at Man United. Find out more about Alexis in our in-depth biography

Chile footballer Alexis Sanchez Photo: Arsenal TV

Alexis Sanchez is a Chilean footballer who plays for Premier League club Manchester United.

The striker is one of the most famous players in the Premier League thanks to his impressive performances for Arsenal, before signing for Manchester United in January 2018.

Sanchez moved to the north London club from Barcelona in 2014 after he was one of the standout players at that summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

The striker’s never-say-die attitude made him a firm favourite with Gunners supporters since his £35m move from La Liga, before his move to Old Trafford midway through the 2017-18 campaign.

The Tocopilla-born forward has scored 39 times in 118 games for the Chile national team since making his debut in 2006.

Personal Information:

Date of birth: 19 December 1988
Age: 29 years old
Place of birth: Tocopilla, Chile
Nationality: Chilean
Height: 169cm / 5ft 6 1/2 ins
Weight: 62kg / 137 lbs

Facebook: AlexisSanchez7
Instagram: alexis_officia1/
Twitter: alexis_sanchez

Early life

Photo: Alexis Sanchez / Instagram

Alexis came through the ranks at Cobreloa. The Chile team has earned a reputation for producing some talented players for the national squad.

Indeed, Eduardo Vargas broke through at Cobreloa alongside Sanchez to get some early experience under their belt.

At the age of 16, Alexis was brought into the Cobreloa first-team and made his debut against Deportes Temuco in February 2005.

Sanchez required less than a month to open his professional account with a goal against Deportes Concepción.

The raw talent was given the chance to shine in Copa Libertadores at 16, making him one of the youngest players to feature in the competition.

His performances were soon attracting attention from Europe.

Udinese agreed a £1.7m deal to sign Sanchez following one season at Cobreloa before the Serie A side loaned the forward to Colo-Colo.

Colo-Colo and River Plate

Photo: Alexis Sanchez / Instagram

Given Sanchez’s glittering career in European football, it is easy to overlook his two seasons at Colo-Colo before his move to Italy.

Alexis produced some consistent performances with a handful of goals to help Colo-Colo finish as Copa Sudamericana runners-up.

When is loan spell expired at the Chilean club, Udinese farmed Sanchez out to Argentinian club River Plate.

Sanchez scored four times in 34 games in his only season in Argentinian football before he started his career in Europe.

Udinese

Photo: Alexis Sanchez / Instagram

Sanchez started his Serie A career against Juventus when he made his Udinese debut on 14 September 2008.

Alexis linked up with his compatriot Mauricio Isla at Udinese which helped the Chile duo to ease into life in Italy.

He scored his first Serie A goal against Lecce but wasn’t immune to criticism in the early stages of his Udinese career.

His performances in the Coppa Italia helped to win over the supporters with man of the match performances against AC Milan and AS Roma in the 2009-10 campaign.

Sanchez scored 12 times in 35 games in his third season at the Italian club to draw attention from some of Europe’s top clubs.

He earned a reputation as a brilliant dribbler and potent finisher. It wasn’t long before La Liga giants Barcelona swooped for the Chile star.

Barcelona

Photo: Alexis Sanchez / Instagram

Sanchez moved to Barcelona in a £31.7m deal from Udinese in 2011 to link up with Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez at Camp Nou.

The South American forward struggled with a spate of injuries during his first with the Catalan side to limit his impact.

He scored 15 goals in 41 games in all competitions to finish with respectable figures but there was more to come from him.

Sanchez did end his debut campaign in Cataluna with a trophy after Barcelona Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey.

The Chilean star made a slow start to the 2012-13 season but finished the campaign with a flurry of goals to help Barcelona win the La Liga title with 100 points.

Sanchez scored his first (and only) El Clasico goal in a 2-1 victory over Real Madrid at Camp Nou in October 2013.

His first Barcelona hat-trick came in a 3-0 away win at Elche. Unsurprisingly, Sanchez ended the 2013-14 season with career-best figures of 21 goals in all competitions.

Arsenal

Photo: Alexis Sanchez / Instagram

Barcelona missed out on Champions League and La Liga titles in the 2013-14 season and Sanchez was soon on the move again.

Liverpool were initially linked with the Chile international but Alexis opted to complete a £35m move to Arsenal.

Sanchez signed a long-term contract with the FA Cup holders to follow in the footsteps of Mesut Ozil in swapping La Liga for Premier League club Arsenal.

The Gunners handed Sanchez the No17 shirt and it wasn’t long before Alexis became a firm favourite with Arsenal supporters thanks to his brilliant individual performances.

Sanchez wasted no time adjusting to the Premier League with a string of assists but his first goal came in a 1-0 win against Besiktas in their Champions League playoff.

The Arsenal forward opened his Premier League account with the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

Sanchez’s Gunners career burst into life when the South American forward scored one of the strikes of the 2014-15 season to take his tally to two Premier League goals.

The Arsenal No17 slotted a brilliant volley past Joe Hart to secure a 2-2 draw with title rivals Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.

Sanchez scored another vital goal in a 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund to secure Arsenal’s place in the Champions League knockout phase.

The second half of the 2014-15 season proved to be a disappointment as Arsenal’s title challenge fizzled out and the Gunners exited the Champions League at the round of 16.

However, Sanchez did end his first term at The Emirates with a trophy after he scored their second goal in a 4-0 victory over Aston Villa in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

The Arsenal star finished the Premier League campaign with 16 goals in 35 appearances after netting important goals against Liverpool and Manchester City.

Sanchez struggled with injury problems during his second season at Arsenal but still managed to end the 2015-16 season with 13 goals in 30 games in the Premier League.

The Arsenal striker scored his first hat-trick for the north London club in a 5-2 victory over eventual Premier League champions Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in September 2015.

Another notable performance came in Arsenal’s 3-0 win against Manchester United after Sanchez netted two goals against their bitter rivals at The Emirates.

Alexis scored four goals in four games in the final two months of the season to help Arsenal secure a second-place finish – their best position since winning the title in 2003-04.

Sanchez’s third campaign at Arsenal was marred by transfer gossip surrounding his future at the north London club after failing to agree to a contract extension.

The Arsenal star opted to change his shirt number from 17 to seven.

The Chile forward produced his best return for an individual season in the 2016-17 campaign after Sanchez scored 24 times in 38 top-flight games.

Sanchez scored his first penalty for Arsenal in a 2-1 win against Burnley to rescue three points in January 2017 having missed his previous two efforts.

Despite his impressive return 30 goals in 51 appearances in all competitions, Arsenal finished in fifth place in the Premier League and lost 10-2 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League round of 16.

Alexis and Arsenal did finish the season on a high note after he scored the opening goal in a 2-1 victory over Premier League champions Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley in May 2017.

He was linked with a move to Manchester City in the summer transfer window after entering the final 12 months of his Arsenal contract. However, Alexis remained a Gunners player for the start of the 2017-18 season.

Manchester United

Alexis completed a move to Manchester United on 22 January 2018.

Sanchez was handed the club’s prestigious number seven shirt.

The January signing made his Manchester United debut in a 4-0 win against Yeovil Town in the FA Cup fourth round.

He scored three goals in 18 appearances following his move to Manchester United. Sanchez netted against Crystal Palace and Huddersfield in the Premier League. He scored the equaliser in a 2-1 win against Spurs in the FA Cup semi-final.

International career

Photo: Alexis Sanchez / Instagram

Sanchez made his Chile debut in 2006 as a precocious 18-year-old talent. His first international appearance against New Zealand.

The forward quickly became an important member of the Chile national team and he scored three times in their 2010 World Cup qualification campaign.

Alexis featured in each of Chile’s games at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as his country reached the round of 16 before a 3-0 loss to Brazil.

Sanchez made his mark at Wembley for the first time when he scored both of Chile’s goals.

He was one of the stars of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil following goals against Australia and Brazil. Sanchez was one of the three Chile players who missed a spot-kick against the hosts in the round of 16.

Sanchez and Chile would get their revenge in 2015 when la Roja won Copa America thanks to a series of man of the match performanches from the Arsenal striker. Indeed, the forward scored the decisive penalty in a 3-2 penalty shootout victory over Argentina with a Panenka-style effort.

Chile retained the Copa America 12 months later when la Roja beat Argentina on penalties again in the final. Sanchez won the tournament’s golden boot after his outstanding performances in the special centurion tournament in the United States.

Sanchez’s national team continued their dominance of recent major tournaments after finishing as runners-up in the Confederations Cup. Alexis became Chile’s all-time record goal-scorer with his goal against Germany in the group stage.

Chile missed out on a place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia after finishing behind Peru.

Personal life

Photo: Alexis Sanchez / Instagram

Sánchez had the honour of a statue of the Arsenal and Chile forward being erected in his honour in his native town of Tocopilla in March 2017.

The Arsenal striker has two Golden Retrievers called Atom and Humber. Alexis regularly posts about his two pets on his Instagram page.

Interesting facts about Alexis Sanchez

• Sanchez became the most-expensive Chile player in history when he moved to Barcelona in a £31m deal from Udinese.

• The Arsenal striker has two nicknames: “El Niño Maravilla” (the Wonder Boy) and “Ardilla” (Chipmunk).

• Sanchez is Chile’s record goal-scorer after his 38th goal broke Marcelo Salas’ 10-year record in 2017.

• Alexis is a brand ambassador for Huawei and Pepsi.

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