Who is Alexis Sanchez? Facts on Arsenal star, his earnings and career highlights

Karthick Arvinth
International Business Times
Alexis Sanchez and Arsene Wenger
Alexis Sanchez and Arsene Wenger

Alexis Sanchez is one of the Premier League's marquee talents, renowned for his skill on the ball and his tireless work-rate. The 28-year-old has played more than 100 games for Arsenal and over 140 matches for Spanish giants Barcelona. He is Chile's joint top scorer of all time with 37 goals.

Who is Alexis Sanchez?

Alexis Sanchez began his football career in the youth team of Cobreloa, based in the desert city of Calama in Chile. He rapidly rose through the ranks and made his first-team debut for the club in 2005 at the age of 16. Sanchez's impressive performances at a young age caught the eye of Italian club Udinese, who signed him for £1.7m ($2.1m) in April 2006 and loaned him to Chilean club Colo-Colo on a season-long loan to continue his development.

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Sanchez enjoyed a successful season at Colo-Colo, helping the club win the Torneo Apertura. After his loan deal expired, he joined Argentine club River Plate on another season-long loan before eventually moving to Europe to become a part of Udinese's squad in the summer of 2008. After a tough start to life in Italy, Sanchez grew accustomed to European football and eventually established himself as an opponent to be feared in Serie A. He had his best season for Udinese in 2010-11, helping them reach the Champions League for only the second time in their history.

Sanchez joined defending Spanish and European champions Barcelona in the summer of 2011 for a fee of around £32m. However, his three-year spell in Catalonia coincided with a relatively lean period of success for Barcelona, in which he won one La Liga title, one Copa del Rey and one Fifa Club World Cup. Sanchez completed a £31.7m move to Arsenal in 2014, with whom he has won one FA Cup.

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Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez

Key facts about Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez & Julio Cesar
Alexis Sanchez & Julio Cesar

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Career highlights

  • March 2005: Scores first professional goal for Chilean club Cobreloa at the age of 16

  • April 2006: Signs for Udinese for a £1.7m but is loaned to Colo-Colo for the season

  • June 2007: Colo-Colo clinch the Torneo Apertura

  • August 2007: Joins Argentine giants River Plate on season-long loan from Udinese

  • July 2008: Moves to Europe to join Udinese at the age of 19

  • February 2011: Scores four goals in Udinese's 7-0 win over Palermo in Serie A; Udinese eventually manage to seal Champions League qualification for only the second time in their history

  • July 2011: Joins Barcelona in £32m deal, becoming first Chilean player to play for the Catalan club

  • May 2013: Wins La Liga title with Barcelona

  • January 2014: Scores first hat-trick for Barcelona in win over Elche; Ends season with a career-best 21 goals in all competitions

  • June 2014: Misses penalty during shootout as Chile are knocked out by host country Brazil in the round of 16 stage of the 2014 World Cup

  • July 2014: Signs for Arsenal for a transfer fee of £31.7m; Makes debut for north London club a month later in a pre-season friendly against Benfica

  • May 2015: Starts and scores in Arsenal's FA Cup final win over Aston Villa at Wembley; Named Gunners' player of the year

  • July 2015: Scores the winning penalty in a shootout as Chile beat Argentina to win the Copa America

  • June 2016: Named player of the 2016 Copa America tournament; Chile successfully defend continental crown by beating Argentina in final

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez

How much does Alexis Sanchez earn?

Sanchez earns £7.3m per year from his Arsenal contract. The Chilean is the second-best paid player at the north London club after Mesut Ozil. He has endorsement deals with Pepsi and Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei.

Why did Alexis Sanchez leave Barcelona?

Sanchez's first two seasons in Spain were often interrupted by injuries and he struggled to win over the Barcelona fans. His third season was by far his best, in which he scored a career-best 21 goals. However, Barcelona signed Luis Suarez from Liverpool after the 2014 World Cup, forcing Sanchez to leave Camp Nou in order to continue playing regular first-team football.

Could Alexis Sanchez leave Arsenal?

Sanchez's future at Arsenal has been the subject of intense media speculation since the turn of 2017. The 28-year-old has a little over a year left on his Gunners contract, with the likes of Chelsea, Juventus and Bayern Munich reported to be monitoring his situation.

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