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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring for Udinese in 2010.

How Alexis Sanchez became an attacking powerhouse

The latest issue of Inside United magazine is out now – and, perhaps unsurprisingly, one man is a prominent feature.

Alexis Sanchez is the cover star, following his eagerly awaited arrival from Arsenal last month, and the Reds’ new no.7 has his own dedicated section in the March edition of the club’s official magazine.

A highlight of the 16-page special is a fascinating account by football journalist Sheridan Bird, who has followed Alexis’s career closely, in this instance focusing on the Chilean’s precocious early exploits in South America and his journey to the top.

It features the reflections of Italian journalist Pietro Oleotto, who tracked the progress of Alexis during the forward’s time with Udinese in Serie A and describes how he became the man he is today by improving his physical attributes.

Inside United: March 2018
Italian journalist Pietro Oleotto says

"He began improving his body and they built him an ad-hoc gym. He worked out for two hours a day after training. I remember being shocked by how much muscle he had put on."

“In his first season, he [Alexis] was skinny and stayed on the right wing a lot,” Oleotto recalls. “The physicality in the penalty area was too much for him. But the team needed him more central, closer to the goal, to make the most of his dribbling.

“So he began improving his body and they built him an ad-hoc gym. He worked out for two hours a day after training. I remember seeing him halfway through pre-season training camp and being shocked by how much muscle he had put on.”

Further illustrating the star's commitment, he went on: “Once, after training, Alexis drove into Udine to do some shopping. But he accidentally locked his keys and mobile phone in his car. I'm not sure what most people would have done, but he just ran home. He jogged the 8km from the heart of the city to his house in the hills. Bemused locals saw him in his club tracksuit running and called us at the paper. It was typical of Alexis to turn the situation into an improvised cross-country run.” 

Elsewhere in the issue, Marcos Rojo gives a wide-ranging interview on his uncompromising style, his single biggest goal with the Reds and the battle ahead on three fronts.

We also hear from fellow defender Luke Shaw, who discusses his fine form of late and leadership in the youth ranks.

There’s plenty more United reading to get stuck into, including a detailed profile on our next UEFA Champions League opponents Sevilla, a look back on the Munich Air Disaster 60th anniversary commemorations, and the usual in-depth round-ups of the Under-18s and Under-23s.

Inside United is on sale now in newsagents, at the Megastore at Old Trafford and can be bought online via www.manutd.com/magazine.

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