Saturday, 2 May 2015

Alexis Sanchez's Story to Stardom: The Real Hero

Alexis’ humble upbringing on the streets of northern Chilean city Tocopilla was, not surprisingly, dominated by his desire to play football.

"I loved it since I was a child," says the Arsenal star. "I just wanted to play football throughout the day, even at school, it didn’t matter to me playing with school shoes on. I just wanted to play. Football helped me forget my worries and problems. I can’t be without a football at my feet."
As Alexis developed, playing for men’s teams when he was barely into his teens, his reputation as one of the finest young talents in the region grew - a reputation that ultimately allowed his mother to make a very special request.

"There was a time in which I had no football boots as my mum didn’t have money to buy a pair for me," says the former Barcelona forward. "I begged for new boots at home, but unfortunately my mum couldn’t pay for them. At that time I was the most important player for Arauco, the municipality’s football team. My mum went to Arauco’s city hall to ask for some sort of grant to the town’s mayor so I could have a new pair of boots. I wasn’t aware of her move until one night at 10pm a delivery van stopped at my doorstep with some brand new boots for me. I put them on straight away and I started playing in the street. I was really happy about that.

And mum’s efforts were acknowledged with a special dedication. "When I scored my first goal in the boots, I dedicated it to my mum," he smiles. "Although during my first games with my brand new boots, I focused more on the boots than on the game itself!" Thankfully, Alexis’ eyes are now firmly focused on adding to his tally of 22 Gunners’ goals in what has been a quite stunning debut season.


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