Alexis Sanchez Profile

Alexis Alejandro Sánchez Sánchez

Born 19 December 1988

After his debut season of first-team football with Cobreloa, Sánchez was signed by Italy's Udinese Calcio in 2006. Following successful loans at Colo-Colo and River Plate, he began playing in Serie A.

In 2011, he was signed by Barcelona for £25 million, becoming the most expensive transfer in Chilean football history.Sánchez signed for Arsenal in July 2014 for a fee reported to be around £35 million, making him the second-most expensive signing in the club's history after Mesut Özil.

Sánchez has been a full international for Chile since 2006, and has earned over 85 caps, making him the team's second-most capped player of all time after goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. He played in two FIFA World Cups (2010 and 2014) as well as the 2011 and 2015 Copa América tournaments, winning the latter.

Club career

Cobreloa

Born in Tocopilla, Sánchez was product of Cobreloa's prolific youth ranks where he was teammates with current national team players like Charles Aránguiz and Eduardo Vargas. In February 2005, he was promoted to the senior first team by manager Nelson Acosta, who had coached the Chilean national team at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

His debut against Temuco in February  and his first professional goal in a 2–1 over Concepción on 18 March allowed him play his first Copa Libertadores game against Once Caldas that, at the age of 16, made him one of the youngest players to ever play that tournament.After an impressive season with Cobreloa, Sánchez caught the attention of Udinese who signed him for a £1.7 million fee, on 21 April 2006. However, Udinese began a maturation project for him and loaned him to Chilean giants Colo-Colo in a season-long deal.

Colo-Colo

Sánchez debuted for Colo-Colo on 23 June 2006 in a 1–1 draw with Antofagasta and his first goal came during a Superclásico in a 4–2 win over Universidad de Chile at Estadio Monumental on 29 October.

His strong performances allowed him break into the team's starting lineup after successfully challenging the striker Mario Cáceres, he become a starting in Claudio Borghi's lineup, so that began partnering Humberto Suazo in the forward. On 1 November, he scored his first brace at Pedreros in a 4–4 draw with Deportes La Serena and weeks before he scored his first continental goal in a 7–2 thrashing over LD Alajuelense for the Copa Sudamericana,tournament that his club failed to win after being defeated by Pachuca at Estadio Nacional where Colo-Colo had a talented team with players like Matías Fernández, Arturo Vidal, Suazo, the same Alexis, among others.

On 23 December 2006, Sánchez was a starter in the Torneo Clausura final against Audax Italiano that his team won 3–2, which meant Alexis' first professional title. The next season, on 23 March 2007, he scored his first goals for the Copa Libertadores against Caracas at Cúcuta, match which he netted a hat-trick to a 4–0 away win.On 12 May, Sánchez scored his first and only goal for the Torneo Apertura during a 3–1 home win over Santiago Wanderers that was a key match for the title obtention, which was finally achieved on 16 June after beat Palestino 1–0 at Monumental and was Colo-Colo's 26th league title.

After an impressive FIFA U-20 World Cup of Sánchez (where Chile achieved the third place with José Sulantay as coach), his loan with Colo-Colo expired and on 15 August 2007 was reported that Argentina's River Plate and Udinese reached a season long deal agreement for Alexis in a US$700.000 fee.

Udinese

After a successful season in Argentina, Sánchez left South America in July 2008 to join Udinese, where he would meet up with Chilean compatriot Mauricio Isla. Sánchez made his non-competitive debut in a 3–0 win over Bassano and was named the man of match.On 14 September, he played his first game in Serie A in a 1–0 loss with Juventus and four days later, he made his European debut against Borussia Dortmund. On 19 October 2008, Sánchez scored his first league goal against Lecce. After this first goal, Sánchez got into a minor slump, in which he took much criticism. The criticism ended after scoring the winning goal in the 90th minute against Bologna in a 1–0 win, being named the man of match.

The next season, Sánchez played an important role for Udinese in Coppa Italia 2009–10, being a key player in the team that eliminated Milan, assisting Gökhan Inler for the winning goal. In the semi-final second leg, Sánchez was the man of match after playing a successful game against Roma, including scoring his first Coppa Italia goal in the 81st minute. It was not enough, as the aggregate score was 2–1 in favor of Roma.By the end of this year, Sánchez scored a total of five goals (four at the end of tournament) in 32 appearances.

On 27 February 2011, Sánchez scored four of seven goals as his team defeated Palermo 7–0, playing only the first 52 minutes of the game. This event meant he broke the record of goals scored by a Chilean player (in a single match) in the Italian Serie A,thus beating the records set by his historic countrymen Marcelo Salas and Iván Zamorano.

During his successful season at Udinese, Sánchez and Italian striker Antonio Di Natale became one of the best scoring duos in Serie A. They tallied 39 goals between them, two goals short of the Del PieroTrezeguet duo that completed 41 goals in the 2007–08 season. In recognition of his achievements he was named the world's most promising youngster of the 2011 season, by the users of FIFA.com, where users had to choose between Sánchez, Gareth Bale, Javier Pastore,Ganso and Neymar in a poll.Sánchez ranked 56th in the May 2011 edition of Castrol Performance Index and 24th among the forwards.

Barcelona

On 20 July 2011, FC Barcelona confirmed they had agreed to a €26 million fee (including €11.5 million in certain bonuses) with Udinese for the transfer of Sánchez. He became the first Chilean to play for the club."Sánchez is very young," said manager Pep Guardiola. "He can play in all three attacking positions, he shows intense defensive skills, he's direct and from what I've been told, he's a very nice kid."The transfer was finalised five days later when he passed a medical and signed a five-year contract."I want to learn from players like Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernández—and I want to help the club win more titles," said Sánchez.

His debut season for Barcelona was mired with short-term injuries. Sanchez made his debut on 14 August 2011 against arch rivals Real Madrid in the 2012 Supercopa de España first leg away match, and had a thigh injury after a challenge by Marcelo. Barcelona won the tie 5–4 on aggregate.

He made his return two weeks later as a substitute in the 2011 UEFA Super Cup, won by Barca 2–0. Alexis then started the opening match of La Liga, at home against Villarreal CF, and scored his first goal in a 5–0 win. A week later, on 10 September 2011, he was stretchered off after 30 minutes following a challenge from Dani Estrada in a La Liga match against Real Sociedad. Sánchez returned on 1 November 2011 in an away match against Viktoria Plzeň.On 10 December 2011, he scored Barcelona's equaliser against Real Madrid in a match they went on to win 1–3.

On 14 February 2012, Sánchez scored the first and second UEFA Champions League goals of his career in Barcelona's 3–1 victory against Bayer 04 Leverkusen. On 2 October he scored the first goal for Barcelona in a 0–2 win against S.L. Benfica.

On 10 February 2013, Sánchez scored his first goal of the 2012–13 La Liga season in Barça's 6–1 home win against Getafe CF From February onwards, Sánchez scored in matches against Deportivo de La Coruña, Real Mallorca, Athletic Club, Real Betis, Atlético de Madrid and RCD Espanyol to end the season with eight league goals.Barcelona won the league title, ending the season with 100 points.

On 26 October 2013, Sánchez scored the winning goal as Barça beat Real Madrid 2–1 at Camp Nou in the first Clásico fixture of the 2013–14 La Liga season.On 5 January 2014, Sánchez scored his first hat-trick for Barcelona in a 4–0 win against Elche CF.He ended the 2013–14 season with a career best 21 goals in all competitions,] including 19 in La Liga.

Arsenal

On 10 July 2014, Sánchez signed for Arsenal on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee, reported to be around £35 million.Sánchez was given the squad number 17, previously worn by Nacho Monreal, who took the vacant number 18 instead. In a statement released by the club, Sánchez said that he was "so happy to be joining Arsenal, a club which has a great manager, a fantastic squad of players, huge support around the world and a great stadium in London."

Arsène Wenger praised Sánchez, saying that the Chilean international "has consistently produced top-quality performances at the highest level for a number of seasons now and we are all excited to see him integrate into the Arsenal squad."Sánchez made his first appearance for Arsenal on 2 August 2014, as a substitute during a 5–1 win against Benfica in the pre-season Emirates Cup tournament.

2014–15 season

His first competitive appearance was against Manchester City in the Community Shield, on 10 August, playing in the first half and helping Arsenal to a 3–0 win. On 16 August, he made his Premier League debut against Crystal Palace, assisting Laurent Koscielny's equaliser in a 2–1 home win.

He scored his first goal for Arsenal on 27 August, slotting the ball past Beşiktaş goalkeeper Tolga Zengin in stoppage time of the first half to secure a 1–0 aggregate victory and a spot in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.Following the game, Wenger was full of praise for Sánchez, with the Arsenal manager saying: "He had a good game, not only on the technical side but on the fighting side.

He was mobile, dangerous and has shown as well he has great fighting spirit, qualities that will be very important in the Premier League."His first league goal came four days later, netting the opening goal in a 1–1 draw away to newly promoted Leicester City. He then scored his second league goal in as many games against previous season champions Manchester City, demonstrating perfect technique to sidefoot a volley high past Joe Hart in a 2–2 draw at the Emirates Stadium.

He scored his fourth goal for Arsenal, from a free-kick, as the Gunners fell to 1–2 defeat to Southampton in the Football League Cup. He scored his first goal in the Champions League proper for the Gunners on 1 October, netting Arsenal's third goal of their 4–1 home win over Galatasaray and also provided assists for two goals by Danny Welbeck.

On 18 October, he scored the opening goal and later assisted a late Welbeck equaliser in a 2–2 draw against Hull City at home. The following league fixture saw him scoring a brace against Sunderland after capitalising on errors made by Wes Brown and former Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone.

On 1 November, Sánchez again scored a brace, this time against Burnley in a 3–0 victory. With that brace he scored his ninth and tenth goals of the season across all competitions.He and Yaya Sanogo scored against Borussia Dortmund in 2–0 win as Arsenal qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

On 3 December, he scored the winner against Southampton in the 89th minute to give the Gunners a 1–0 win.Sánchez scored the first goal in Arsenal's 2–1 home win over Queens Park Rangers on 26 December and assisted the second goal for Tomáš Rosický; earlier in the same match Sánchez had a penalty saved by Robert Green after being brought down by Armand Traoré.

On 4 January 2015, Sánchez scored and assisted his first ever FA Cup goals as Arsenal knocked out Hull City, the previous season's runners-up in the third round. Sánchez, assisted Per Mertesacker and scored in the 82nd minute, he was substituted two minutes later by Chuba Akpom.In next Premier League game against Stoke City, Sánchez was involved in all the three goals as Arsenal beat Stoke City 3–0 at the Emirates Stadium.

He first assisted Laurent Koscielny and then scored two goals of his own. His performance was praised by Match of the Day pundit and Queens Park Rangers player Joey Barton who said; "I was critical of Sanchez when they bought him from Barcelona in the summer and said he was inconsistent. But now I would love him in my team. Liverpool must be kicking themselves that they could not sign him", as well as Thierry Henry, who called him "Arsenal's best signing of the last six years".

On 4 March, Sánchez ended a run of eight games without a goal by scoring Arsenal's second goal as they beat Queens Park Rangers 2–1 atLoftus Road.Sánchez scored Arsenal's third goal on 4 April as they beat Liverpool 4–1 at the Emirates Stadium and was chosen as the Man-of-the-Match.

On 18 April, Sánchez scored both of Arsenal's goals in the FA Cup semi final as Arsenal defeated Reading 2–1 after extra time.Eight days later, he was the only Arsenal player named in the PFA Team of the Year.On 4 May, Sánchez scored another brace, this time against Hull City in a 3–1 away win.On 29 May, he was voted as the 2015 PFA Fans' Player of the Year.

He reached his 25th goal of the season in the 2015 FA Cup Final on 30 May, with the second goal in a 4–0 defeat of Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium, via a long-range strike. Sánchez, who also headed an assist for Theo Walcott's opening goal, became the first Chilean to score in an FA Cup Final since Newcastle United's George Robledo in 1952.He capped off his first season by winning Arsenal's Player of the year award....

17/08/15

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