clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Getting To Know: Alexis Sánchez

Getty Images

Full name: Alexis Alejandro Sánchez Sánchez
Squad No: 9
Position: Forward
Date of birth: 19 December 1988
Place of birth: Tocopilla, Chile
Height: 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)
Weight: 70 kg (154 lbs)

Born in Tocopilla, a city in north Chile, Alexis Sanchez began his playing career at the age of 15 when he signed a contract with local club Cobreloa. He spent the first season with the outfits' youth side, but aged just 16 he made his professional debut against Temuco. In his very next appearance Alexis set a Copa Libertadores record and became the youngest player to ever play in the competition. Alexis spent one and a half season with the Chilean side, making 50 appearances and scoring nine goals.

Impressed by the youngsters performances many top clubs took notice, including European giants Manchester United and Inter Milan. Sanchez decided to go to Italy eventually, but it wasn't to sign with the Nerazzuri, as he agreed to join Udinese, who bought the rising star for €3 million. To gain experience, the Zebrette immediately loaned Alexis to Chilean giants Colo-Colo, where he spent one season. Sanchez thoroughly impressed in the short time in his nations' capital city, and after playing 48 games, scoring nine goals and winning two titles it was believed he would return to Italy.

However, Udinese decided Sanchez could benefit from an additional year on loan, this time with Argentinian side River Plate. The reasoning behind it? It was thought that the loan spell would better prepare Alexis for the physical style of Italian football. However, Alexis suffered an ankle injury that kept him of the pitch for months, but nonetheless he had a successful season as he scored four goals in 31 games while winning the Primera División de Argentina.

In 2008 Alexis finally made his long anticipated Serie A debut in a loss against Juventus. It took Alexis a couple months to adapt to life in Italy. However, as soon as he broke out of the early slump he became a key member for Pasquale Marino's side. In his second season in Italy Alexis was earmarked to have a breakout year and he didn't disappoint. Nevertheless, his performances went largely unnoticed because of Udinese's bad results. In his third, and final, season with the Italian side the diminutive forward led his club to a fourth place finish and ended the season as one of the best players in the league. In three seasons for the Zebrette Alexis appeared in 120 matches and scored 21 goals while providing another 20 assists.

After the past campaign has earned him the title "The world's most promising youngster of the 2010-11 season" numerous European clubs wanted to secure the youngsters' services. FC Barcelona was one of the more vocal admirers and after months of negotiations an agreement for an initial €26 million and a further €11.5 million in variables was finally agreed upon. Alexis made his Blaugrana debut in the first leg of the Supercopa de España against Real Madrid. He opened his Blaugrana account in his very first La Liga game for Barcelona, in the 5-0 drubbing of Villarreal CF. But after four impressive appearances, capped off by one goal and one assist, Alexis tore his hamstring which has currently halted his Barca career, however, after he return he should be his attacking self.

As he did on the club level, Alexis also quickly caught the attention of the manager of the Chilean U-20 outfit, José Sulantay, who called him up for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup where Chile finished third. After the completion of the tournament, the senior side manager, Marcelo Bielsa, inserted the youngster into his team. Ever since Alexis has been a stalwart for La Roja and has made 34 appearances while tallying nine times and assisting on ten goals.

Alexis Sanchez is a player with great technique, who prefers to play wide and cut inside. He is capable of playing all three attacking positions, either wing and striker, but his incredible dribbling abilities a quickness make him more suitable for play on the wing. He has a knack for finding the net and even though he can sometimes hold onto the ball for too long, he is always among the assist leaders. Despite playing three years in Italy Alexis is still somewhat inexperienced at the highest level.

CSD Colo-Colo

  • Chilean Primera División (2): 2006 Clausura, 2007 Apertura

CA River Plate

  • Primera División de Argentina (1): 2008 Clausura

FC Barcelona

  • Supercopa de España (1): 2011

  • UEFA Super Cup (1): 2011


  • Serie A Footballer of the Year (1): 2010-11

Upon arrival to the Camp Nou Alexis Sanchez signed a five year contract with a €100 million buyout clause.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Barca Blaugranes Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Barca news from Barca Blaugranes