Alexis Sanchez Profile
|Born||Dec 19, 1988|
Alexis Sanchez is a forward who plays for Serie A club Inter Milan and the Chile national team.
He has enjoyed an illustrious career spanning 16 years, beginning with his youth team of Cobreloa before moving to Udinese in Serie A.
He has played for some of the biggest soccer teams in the world including Barcelona, Manchester United, Arsenal, Inter Milan and River Plate.
During his career Sanchez has won La Liga, the FA Cup twice and the Copa America twice. His €25million transfer from Udinese to Barcelona made him the most expensive Chilean player of all time.
Sanchez is the most-capped Chile player of all-time and also the country's leading goalscorer.
Sanchez's early career in Europe began at Udinese in 2006. Initially he was loaned to Colo-Colo and River Plate, where he won league titles with both clubs.
He was recalled to Italy and became an integral part of the Udinese team for the following three seasons. His performances prompted Pep Guardiola's Barcelona to sign him in the summer of 2011 for €25million, the first Chilean to play for the Spanish giants.
In his time with Barca, Sanchez enjoyed the most successful period of his career.
He won La Liga in 2012/13, the 2012 Copa Del Rey, two Spanish Super Cups in 2011 and 2013, as well as the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup in 2011. In all competitions, Sanchez made 141 appearances for Barcelona, scored 46 goals and provided 37 assists.
For his first two seasons at Barcelona, Sanchez was part of a front three alongside Lionel Messi and David Villa. During the 2012/13 season the trio scored 82 goals between them which played a vital role in Barcelona winning the league that season.
In his final season at Camp Nou, Sanchez scored 19 goals in La Liga, but was still sold to Arsenal for £32million to accommodate the arrival of Luis Suarez in the summer.
Switch to North London
Despite the heavy price tag, Sanchez provided value for money as he quickly became one of the best acquisitions Arsenal had made for many years.
In his first season at Arsenal, Sanchez scored 25 goals in all competitions, including the second goal in the 4-0 FA Cup final win over Aston Villa. He was also named Arsenal's Player of the Year.
In the 2016/17 season, Sanchez scored 24 Premier League goals, 30 in all competitions, lifted the FA Cup again, was Arsenal's player of the year and was shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year. However, a disappointing fifth-place finish in the Premier League left Arsenal outside the top four for the first time since 1995/96.
At the start of the 2017/18 campaign there was a great deal of uncertainty about Sanchez's future at Arsenal, fuelled by his desire to play in the Champions League.
In a controversial move, he joined Manchester United in January 2018 in a swap deal that saw Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan join the Gunners.
In total, Sanchez scored 80 times for Arsenal in 166 appearances including two hat-tricks. He also provided 45 assists, meaning that he was directly involved in more goals than anyone at the club during his time there.
Sanchez's time in Manchester was forgettable.
With his reputation high after a successful period at Arsenal, there were big expectations of Sanchez at Old Trafford. To demonstrate their confidence, United handed Sanchez the number seven shirt previously worn by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham and Eric Cantona.
Unfortunately for United it was a costly move both on the pitch and financially, with a wage package of a reported Â£350,000 a week. Sanchez went on to score just five goals in 45 appearances in two and a half seasons, a year of which he spent on loan at Inter Milan.
His performances at the start of the 2018/19 season did little to improve his status among United fans; taking him seven games to score his first goal and a further 12 before he netted his second. This proved to be his final goal for the club as he went on another 12-game domestic drought.
In the summer at the start of the 2019/20 season, Sanchez joined Inter Milan on loan, where he scored just four goals. Despite this lowly return, Inter Milan decided to make his deal permanent, signing him on a free transfer on a three-year deal.
On an Instagram live Sanchez said of his time at Manchester United: "After my first day of training, I asked my agent to end my contract. I hate it here".
Success with Chile
Sanchez holds national hero status in Chile as he was instrumental in their back-to-back Copa America successes in 2015 and 2016.
In 2015, Sanchez was an ever-present in the team and scored in the group stages against Bolivia. He also scored the winning penalty in the final against Argentina to win his country the Copa America trophy.
The following year marked 100 years since the inaugural Copa America. Again, Sanchez was pivotal in helping Chile win the Copa America Centenario. He scored three goals during the competition and was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player.
Sanchez has been part of the Chile squad at both the 2010 and 2014 World Cup, and was part of the team that lost in the final of the 2017 Confederations Cup to Germany.
Sanchez currently holds the record for the most caps for his country (136) as well as being their top scorer with 45 goals, the first of which came in his eighth appearance in a friendly against Switzerland.
Outside of football, much curiosity surrounds Sanchez and his personal life. Sanchez is known as an unconventional character and spends most of his free time with his dogs Atom and Humber who have gained a lot of publicity on social media. At one point, Arsenal fans even unveiled a banner in their name.
Sanchez has also starred in a film called Mi Amigo Alexis in 2019. The plot revolves around a 12-year-old boy called Tito who idolises Sanchez.
In his hometown of Tocopilla a statue of Sanchez was erected in 2017.
Sanchez has an estimated net worth of £35million as of October 2019. Sanchez is now 69th on Forbes top earners list for athletes.
Sanchez also has lucrative sponsorship deals with Nike and Pepsi.