Alexis Sanchez is a Chilean international professional footballer who currently plays for Udinese in the Italian Serie A. Widely regarded as one of the hottest prospects in world football he is renowned for his skill and pace. Although capable of playing in a variety of forward positions, he is naturally a right winger.
Born on 19 December 1988 in Tocopilla, Chile, Alexis Alejandro Sanchez Sanchez joined the academy of the Atacama Desert based club Cobreloa aged fifteen. One year later he made his debut for the Calama side on 12 February 2005.
Sanchez became the youngest ever player in South America’s equivalent of the Champions League, the Copa Libertadores, in just his second ever first-team game. In the 2006 Apertura he netted six goals in twelve games and that alerted the attention of Udinese. The Italian club signed Alexis in July 2006 for $3 million as a long term investment, but loaned him out immediately to Chilean side Colo-Colo to get more first team experience. He also made his debut for the national team that year against New Zealand and was sent to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada in 2007. Chile finished third in the tournament, with Sanchez and other players including Mauricio Isla and Arturo Vidal impressing tremendously. After a successful calendar year with Colo-Colo, during which time he also cemented his place in the senior national squad, Udinese again loaned him out, this time to Argentine giants River Plate. During 2007-08 Sanchez became a fixture in Chile’s starting XI, going on to score three times for his country the following year which helped them to reach the 2010 World Cup finals. Now playing in Serie A regularly, he was part of the Udinese side that got to the Coppa Italia semi-finals in 2009-10, before losing to Roma. Criticisms of Alexis’s play have been getting him to perform consistently. At the World Cup Chile performed bravely, negotiating the group stages alongside eventual winners Spain, but in the round of 16 were swept aside by Brazil. In the 2010-11 season Sanchez has come into his own, netted twelve times in Serie A so far. The attacking partnership he has formed with club captain Antonio di Natale has been impressive. Alexis has drawn comparisons from critics with Cristiano Ronaldo and German midfielder Piotr Trochowski. Such praise has seen his name linked with a move to one of Europe’s top clubs consistently over the last couple of years.
Yet to win anything with Udinese, Sanchez won two Chilean titles with Colo-Colo, the 2006 Clausura and the 2007 Apertura. At River Plate he won the Argentine Primera Division’s Clausura in 2008.