LifeBogger presents the Full Story of a football genius who is best known by the Nickname; ‘El Niño Maravilla’
Our version of Alexis Sanchez’s Biography, including his Childhood Story, brings you a full account of notable events from his boyhood days right until he became famous.
The analysis of the Chilean Football Legend and Warrior involves his life story before fame, family life and many OFF and ON-Pitch little-known facts about him.
Alexis is someone who suffered a poverty-stricken childhood. He never had it easy with life in the remote mining town in Chile known as the Devil’s Corner. Let us begin the full story;
Alexis Sanchez Childhood Story – Early Life and Family Background:
For Biography starters, Alexis Alejandro Sánchez Sánchez was born on the 19th day of December 1988 to his father Mr Gullermo Soto, a jobless man and Mrs Martina Sanchez, a horticulturist and small-scale businesswoman.
Due to Gullermo Soto’s inability to face the responsibility of taking care of his son a few months after birth, he (Alexis Sanchez’s father) deserted his family when his little boy was barely a few months old.
It was his mother who worked hard to sustain him and his siblings by the names Tamara and Marjorie (sisters) as well as a brother named Humberto.
Alexis Sanchez’s mother, Martina, worked multiple jobs to bring in money, including washing fish and selling flowers, all in the name of taking care of her children.
Martina Sanchez took care of little Alexis and watch him grow up from being a toddler to a handsome little boy.
Motherly love which was given unconditionally to him, resulted in an established trust and emotional intimacy between the two.
She watched him grow up and helped him along the way. Mrs Martina’s income only lasted for a short time.
Yes, she did her best to take care of the rest of her children and also watched them grow up. However, it got to a point where she could no longer cope due to an increased cost of living.
Despite extra efforts, necessary ends could not be met. At some point, it was difficult to feed. It was Alexis Sanchez’s uncle who intervened and saved the situation.
Alexis Sanchez Biography – The Adoption:
Mr José Delaigue proposed to Martina to let one of her kids go to him in order to reduce the pressure faced in raising all up by herself.
It was a hard call for Martina as she was advised by close friends to let little Alexis go.
Mr José Delaigue, who was still poor, was interested in adopting little Alexis. At least he had enough food to feed an extra mouth.
Eventually, his Uncle was kind enough to take Alexis Sanchez under his wing. José Delaigue completed the necessary paper works and became the adoptive father of Alexis Sánchez.
Alexis Sanchez Biography Facts – The Acceptance:
Having a tough upbringing inspired Alexis to be determined at an early age.
Thou Uncle José Delaigue was rich, but Mrs Martina gave Alexis to him because he trusted him and believed he could feed an extra hand.
José Delaigue made Martina understand he could only provide an extra meal but not education, which he wasn’t rich enough to afford.
Moreso, he stated that everything depends on the willingness of his strength to work.
Alexis Sanchez’s acceptance of and happiness to stay with his beloved uncle was one reason every arrangement could go smoothly.
Alexis Sanchez Biography Facts – Survival:
Even though there were high expectations from the beginning of the adoption process, not everything went well.
After a few years, a point was reached that saw uncle José Delaigue not being able to carry on with Alexis Sanchez’s upkeep.
Now it was expected that little Alexis was supposed to go out, hassle, and bring in money through any means necessary.
After seeing the level of hardship at that time, Uncle José Delaigue decided to invest in the little Alexis.
He used his life savings to register him in a youth football academy (local Club Arauco’s youth school) where he could only play part-time football.
Though Alexis at that time never had any football experience. He loved the sport and knew he had to learn it by any means necessary.
For Alexis, giving part-time football an opportunity means no regret for him at that early stage.
This was at this stage he discovered his talent, saw possibilities and got more determined to work harder to get to where he was headed.
He won the first-team selections who could represent the team at local competitions.
One major difficulty Alexis faced was paying his football fees, which he feared could jeopardize his football dreams. This, of course, made him find all the means to survive in the streets.
Reports show that Alexis Sanchez begged neighbours for food and would do acrobatics (somersaults) for a handful of coins from onlookers.
People who needed entertainment were always on the look for him to entertain them.
Alexis also washed cars, did kickboxing (He was paid to fight other children) and worked at the cemetery.
Alexis earned some pocket money in a novel fashion. Many who knew him back then believed he was smarter than smart.
They said he was like a little gymnast who hurled himself all over places. In a recent interview by Sun, his elder brother, Humberto said the following below;
Alexis Sanchez Biography – True words from Humberto:
This is Humberto’s story about his brother– Extracts from Sun (April 2014). – He started…
“Alexis had nothing when growing up. He had to fight for everything he has. We were the poorest of the poor so Alexis had to earn money any way he could from a very young age. , Humberto narrated.
Sometimes he was so hungry he would knock on neighbours’ doors and ask for bread. They would always give him what they had to spare. The people in our neighbourhood know to look after each other.
On occasions, Alexis would box in the street for entertainment. He loves boxing.
Someone had an old pair of gloves and he’d put them on and fight another young lad. Then the neighbours would give him a little for his troubles.
It was a tough life growing up. He was never like some pampered players you hear about. His poor background is what makes him so hungry to succeed on the pitch.
He remains fiercely loyal to his roots and visits his old home twice a year, giving out toys and footballs to the poorest children at Christmas.
If Alexis wasn’t a footballer, he would be working in the mines as most men do in Chile. Alexis had three options — mining, fishing, or football.
“Luckily, he was skilful enough to make it on the pitch. He loves to come home, and he is very humble.
Alexis Sanchez Biography – The Big Change:
The young Chilean was so poor that he didn’t even have his own boots and had to borrow a pair to play tournaments.
His turning point started when he scored 8 goals in a single match and was soon given a pair of his own boots by the mayor of Tocopila.
It didn’t take too long before a helper came soon after the applause and gift from the Mayor.
Mr Luis Astorga, a football pundit and kind man, offered Alexis everything he needed on a gold platter.
He was among the wealthy Chileans who offer humanitarian assistance to promising young kids who had the talent to excel.
He knew Alexis Sanchez was special and quickly invested in him with the mindset of expecting nothing in return.
Having all that he needed, Alexis had to focus fully on the game without creating time for part-time hustle.
Alexis Sanchez was being cared for in ways he never imagined. He saw life as less burdensome.
In fact, it didn’t take much time before he started looking like a rich man’s kid. Even though he was taller and fatter by the month, he was always determined and focused.
Alexis’ performances at this stage earned him the nickname El Nino Maravilla (‘The Wonder Boy’).
Alexis Sanchez Biography Facts – Rising to Fame:
In 2005, he was linked to Cobreloa football club thanks to Luis Astorga. Alexis was never disappointed. He played his hearts outs which earned him respect of Chilean football lovers.
His Rags to Riches story saw its green light when invited by manager Nelson Acosta to train with the Chile national team in 2005.
He became the youngest-ever player to feature for his country.
The next stop was Udinese, who paid £1.7 million for the 17-year-old Sanchez. They promptly loaned him out for seasons in Chile and Argentina, where he was respectively part of league title-winning teams with Colo-Colo and River Plate.
Having made his international debut at the age of 18, Sanchez played for the first time with Salas – Chile’s all-time record goalscorer. Salas saw him play and confessed in his words…“Alexis will be better than me.”
His words have remained true since after Alexis’s £25 million move to Barcelona in 2011.
At Barcelona, he scored 47 goals in 141 appearances and won the league title, the Spanish Cup, 2 Spanish Super Cups, 1 European Super Cup and 1 FIFA World Clubs Cup.
Alexis Sanchez Nickname:
As a child, Alexis was nicknamed “The Squirrel”. This was due to the fact that he would bound up trees to recover lost balls, as well as his boundless energy whilst playing football on the streets.
“The Squirrel” soon became known as “The Wonder Kid”, which is now certainly a fitting nickname for the Chilean.
Alexis Sanchez Relationship Life:
Alexis Sanchez has gotten a long history of dating South American ladies.
Alexis Sánchez and Faloon Larraguibel (No:1) both had an encounter in Jun 2009. They broke up that year. She is a Chilean TV personality.
He later dated the Uruguayan Model, Tamara Primus (No:2). Their relationship lasted till 2011.
That same year, he started another relationship with Roxana Munoz (No:3), who is a Chilean actress.
This relationship lasted a few months. Alexis later dated the beautiful Brazilian model Michelle Carvalho (No:4) from 2012 to 2013.
His relationship with Laia Grassi (No:5) started in 2014 and has been more stable than the rest. Reports show they are both married. She once accused him of being physically involved with her.
The anger came when Arsenal lost to Manchester United; Alexis could hardly perform as he went on to have uncontrolled s*x with his married wife, who later threatened to divorce him, as revealed by a local Chilean newspaper.
Alexis Sanchez Biography – Hometown Facts:
The birthplace of Alexis Sanchez (Tocopilla), has once attracted global attention for being the town in Chile that was most devastated in 2007 by an earthquake that reached 7.7 on the Richter Scale.
It displaced 15,000 people and destroyed 30 per cent of all standing structures.
Sanchez enlisted the help of Messi and other Barcelona stars to raise awareness and funds. He also now returns each Christmas to ride through the streets of Tocopilla in an open-top float to disperse presents, mostly signed footballs, to local children.
A street has once been renamed in his honour following a vote by Tocopilla residents.
The road that was once bear ‘Cuarta Poniente’ now bears the name ‘Alexis Sánchez’. He once donated £160,000 to restore five pitches in his hometown.
Once refused to board a plane to Manchester City FC:
Perhaps this is one reason why Arsenal fans will forever be grateful to Alexis Sanchez. In the summer of 2011, Barcelona and Manchester City were fighting neck and neck for Alexis’ signature.
With their never-ending transfer budget, City were installed as favourite and quickly agreed a £30 million fee with Udinese. Media gathered at Italy’s Santiago airport to see Alexis fly off for talks – only to be disappointed.
Alexis refused to board the plane and wouldn’t talk to any club other than Barcelona. He completed a move to Catalonia that summer.
Rolling up shorts and shirtless habits:
Perhaps you’ve asked; Why does Alexis Sanchez roll up his shorts in the late stages of games?
Well, lots have assumed he does it to grant himself more freedom. When interviewed, he had this to say;
“When I fold my shorts, my mind makes me think I am more flexible with my legs. It makes me feel am free now, and I can play much better. It’s my habit, my superstition.”
Alexis Sanchez Biography Facts – He once criticized England football:
Alexis Sanchez found himself in hot water ahead of Chile’s friendly with England at Wembley in November 2013, when he claimed that English footballers had “gone soft”.
As quoted in an interview with the Daily Express, Alexis reportedly said:
“We are a tougher team than England. The problem for teams like England is that everything is so easy for them. They join these academies at maybe 10 or 11 years old, and everything is done for them.
If I had failed, I would be working 15-hour days on construction sites and still not be earning enough to live. Football saved me, and I don’t think any England players could say that.
It is not the fault of England or other European teams. They did not grow up in an environment like that, but having everything so easy made them soft.”
Sanchez and FC Barcelona were quick to distance themselves from the comments once the interview was published, and now no one quite knows what he did or didn’t say.
Alexis Sanchez Mansion and Car:
Alexis Sanchez has a £5.9m Georgian mansion in London. His property has a private cinema, a helicopter landing pad, an outdoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, a bar and pool house.
Alexis’ car is mostly Audi. It is estimated to be valued at $115,400.
We’ve compiled from reliable sources Alexis Sanchez popularity statistics. Find below our rankings as of 2017.
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At LifeBogger, we strive to give you the Biography of South American Footballers. The Life stories of Paulo Dybala, David Neres and Alex Sandro would interest you.