- 5'6" (1.70m)
- 163 lbs (74 kg)
- December 19, 1988
One of the most talked about rising stars in the game, Sanchez attracted the attention of Barcelona and Manchester City in the summer of 2011, eventually signing for the Spanish side. Now, in the summer of 2014 with several years of brilliance in La Liga under the belt, he has become another signature signing for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal.
Not only is Sanchez the second-most expensive signing in Gunners' history, he will also be the first Chilean to represent the North London club. His move was confirmed after Chile's exit from the 2014 World Cup, a tournament in which the speedy winger led La Roja to wins over Spain and Australia in Group B prior to a narrow round of 16 defeat to host Brazil on penalties.
Sanchez was prolific for Barcelona, helping the Blaugrana win La Liga in 2012-13, the 2011-12 Copa del Rey, two Supercopa de Espanas, the 2011 UEFA Super Cup and the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup during his three seasons at the Camp Nou. Sanchez struggled initially to settle in a star-studded squad but soon began contributing, notching 39 goals and 25 assists in 88 appearances, including 19 goals and 10 assists in 34 La Liga appearances during the 2013-14 club season.
Sanchez began his career at Cobreloa, quickly earning a spot in the U-16 team that competed in a South American tournament in Paraguay. He made his debut in the top division in the first game of 2005's Apertura.
A few months later, he made his first appearance in the Libertadores Cup, playing against Colombia's Once Caldas, the defending champions. Before long, offers from abroad poured in and, despite reported interest from Manchester United and Werder Bremen, he signed for Udinese.
The Italian club then loaned him to Colo Colo to gain experience. After winning two titles there, he moved to Argentina's River Plate, but suffered an injury that kept him out of the game for several months. He recovered to become an essential part of the team that won the 2008 Apertura, before returning to Udinese.
Under coach Marcelo Bielsa, he became one of Chile's most important players, while he was also a key component in Udinese's run to the Champions League in 2010-11. He joined Barcelona for around €35 million in the summer, enjoying three productive seasons there before signing with Arsenal.
Strengths: A player with great technique, he prefers to play in wide areas but can also get into the box and score goals.
Weaknesses: Can still be a little selfish and hold on to the ball for too long.
Career high: Winning La Liga in 2012-13 with Barcelona.
Career low: Julio Cesar saving his crucial spot kick in a shootout against Brazil in the 2014 World Cup round of 16, a game Chile lost 3-2 on penalties.
Style: Fast, powerful, tricky, an excellent winger.
Quotes: "Alexis has stolen my heart, he's a joy... he's a very humble guy." Pep Guardiola, after signing Sanchez at Barcelona.
Trivia: He is the first Chilean player to represent Arsenal. He was also the first Chilean player to represent Barcelona, too.
|Chile||A - Brazil||Jun 28, 2014||WC||L (3) 1-(2) 1||Started||1||0||2||1||2||7||0||0|
|Chile||A - Netherlands||Jun 23, 2014||WC||L 2-0||Started||0||0||2||1||2||9||0||0|
|Chile||A - Spain||Jun 18, 2014||WC||W 0-2||Started||0||0||1||1||3||2||0||0|
|Chile||H - Australia||Jun 13, 2014||WC||W 3-1||Started||1||1||2||1||0||6||0||0|