Alexis hailed as one of world’s best by Chile coach

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Juan Antonio Pizzi, coach of the Chile national team, says Alexis Sanchez is one of the world’s best players after watching the striker down Uruguay with a clinical second half brace to keep his side’s World Cup qualifications alive.

The Arsenal man, who was recently included on the shortlist for FIFA’s Best Player of the Year award, defied the odds by playing 84 minutes of the 3-1 victory just days after rumours circulated that he’d suffered a serious hamstring problem.

“Individuals speak for themselves,” Pizzi said at full time. “Alexis is among the best players in the world.”

Perhaps understandably, the coach – taking a leaf from Arsene Wenger’s book – also played up the importance of the collective. He added: “I am more in favour of emphasising the strengths of the group. And it is what allowed us to turn the game.

“We value individuality, but I think today the great merit of reversing the outcome is based solely on the collective.

“Everyone understands how to solve things by doing it together. Sometimes a few stand out as Claudio [Bravo], Eduardo [Vargas], Alexis…”

Alexis outlined before the season began how he considers himself on a par with the likes of Lionel Messi and Ronaldo. Having starred in two Copa America triumphs in successive years it’s fair to say his countrymen certainly agree…his next big challenge is persuading Arsene Wenger that he’s fit enough to make the trip to Old Trafford on Saturday.

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