Rags to Fame

Alexis Sanchez is Chile’s undisputed leader in the 2014 World Cup. He scored the first goal in their first match of the Cup to get his team rolling to a 3-1 victory over Australia.

Sanchez was bought for over €26 million by the powerful FC Barcelona, making him the first Chilean player in history to play for Barcelona.

Born and raised

He was born on December 19, 1988 in Tocopilla, Chile. A tough upbringing with his father having abandoned the family, his mother worked hard to sustain him and his siblings. Eventually his Uncle took him under his wing.

Young footballer

The young Chilean though was so poor, that he didn’t even have his own boots and had to borrow a pair to play in a U-14 tournament. He went on to score 8 goals in a single match and was soon given a pair of his own boots by the mayor of Tocopila.

Career before FC Barcelona      

In 2005 he was promoted to first-adult team by Nelson Acosta. On 18 March, he scored his first professional goal against Deportes Concepción and then became one of the youngest players in play a Copa Libertadores match.

After an impressive season, on 21 April 2006, Sánchez caught the attention of Udinese Calcio and bought him in a US$3 million fee. However, Udinese began a maturation project with Alexis, and was loaned to Chilean powerhouse Colo-Colo in a season-long deal.

After a successful season in Argentina, in July 2008, Sánchez left South America to officially join Udinese.

International debut

Sánchez made his international debut for his national team against New Zealand on 27 April 2006. He played the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, achieving an historic performance, finishing in third place of the tournament.

Life in Barcelona       

Sanchez scored 12 La Liga goals in his first season at the club as he demonstrated, on occasions, the form that had persuaded Barcelona to part with so much money.

His second season at Camp Nou was one to forget as he struggled to assert himself, turning in a number of disappointing performances and making just 18 starts in La Liga.

He is currently playing for English Premier club Arsenal and has scored 24 goals.

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