Home > Football > Spotlight on… Alexis Sánchez

Spotlight on… Alexis Sánchez

In the latest instalment of the ‘Spotlight on…’ series, Sport Report takes a look at Udinese and Chile’s flying winger Alexis Sánchez.

When one thinks of football’s superstar players, the name of Alexis Sánchez does not immediately spring to mind. However, if his performances for Udinese and Chile are anything to go by, this will change in the very near future.

Sánchez first came to attention on the global stage at last year’s World Cup in South Africa as he helped Chile reach the second round where they were comfortably beaten by Brazil, but he has been known to fans of South American and Italian football for sometime. Sánchez has been a much hyped player since impressing as he came through the ranks of Club de Deportes Cobreloa, for whom he made his debut aged just 16. In April 2006, despite the fact he was only 17, Udinese agreed a fee (reportedly $3,000,000) for his services, but he did not immediately move to Serie A as the Italian club opted to instead give him loan spells at Colo Colo and River Plate. The young winger impressed at both clubs before eventually joining up with Udinese in 2008.

Alexis Sánchez in action for Chile

His time at Udinese has been fruitful as he has scored 21 goals in 106 appearances and formed an excellent partnership with Italian hit-man Antonio Di Natale. This season (2010/2011) has seen the young Chilean enjoy his best form to date as he has found the net 12 times and amassed five assists in 26 Serie A appearances. Although known as a winger who combines blistering pace and mesmeric dribbling to beat opposition defenders, Sánchez is also a more-than-able striker and has adopted this position with increasing regularity this season, hence his increased goal productivity. His natural attributes of pace and dribbling ability, coupled with the fact he can play out wide or as a striker, have led to comparisons with Real Madrid and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. It should however be noted that at 5 foot 6 inches tall, the Chilean does not possess Ronaldo’s physical presence. Comparisons with arguably the world’s best player are obviously unfair at this stage, but there is no doubt that Sánchez is developing into a special player in his own right.

The Udinese man’s talent and performances have not gone unnoticed and a whole host of top clubs have been linked with his signature. Galatasaray reportedly launched a €20,000,000 bid last summer which the Italian club rejected out of hand. Furthermore, Udinese Chairman Franco Soldati revealed three weeks ago that they had received a €35,000,000 bid from an unnamed club. More realistic destinations are the Bernabeu and Old Trafford with the Spanish giants linked with him every other week. Wherever he ends up plying his trade in the future, he will put smiles on faces and bums on seats.

Name: Alexis Alejandro Sánchez 

Place of Birth: Tocopilla, Chile

Nationality: Chilean

Date of Birth: 19th December 1988

Career League Appearances: 194

Career League Goals: 38

Total Career Appearances: 235

Total Career Goals: 43

International Caps: 34

International Goals: 12

Key attributes: searing pace, ability to dribble at speed, eye for goal

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Categories: Football
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