Performance Lab: Alexis Sanchez

FFT’s experts have dissected Arsenal’s big summer signing to reveal what makes him tick – and devised two exercises to help you obliterate opponents like the £30m Chilean

LIFESTYLE
Home boy
The secret to peak performance? “I don’t like to go out a lot,” says Sanchez. “I prefer to be at home and watch movies.”
 
GRACIAS, PEDRO
“At Barcelona I learned how to play football all over again,” said Sanchez. “From Iniesta I learned how to accelerate, from Xavi how to move, from Leo [Messi] to think ahead, and from Pedro I learned how to shoot.”
 
EXERCISE
Split-stance squat with horizontal press

Start in a lunge position, your back knee an inch from the floor. Fully extend arms forward, while holding a medicine ball. Return to the start position and repeat. The aim is to stabilise and strengthen the lower body while moving the upper body to fend off an opponent.
Reps 8-12 Sets 3-4
– Karl Halabi, elite performance consultant
 
80%
The amount Sanchez says he matured at the 2010 World Cup. “I was liberated,” he said. A year later, he left Udinese for Barcelona.
 
NUTRITION
Bulk-building bite
Chicken kebab, beetroot coleslaw and sweet potato
The chicken provides lean protein to help muscle fibres repair. Sweet potato provides carbs to replace glycogen and helps drive the protein into the muscle cells. Beetroot causes greater blood flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscle cells, improving recovery. – Gavin Allinson, elite sports nutritionist
 
SHOOTING
Fox in the box
The stats suggest Arsenal have finally found a genuine poacher. Sanchez scored 16 of his 19 La Liga goals last season from inside the box and his conversion rate (29 per cent) was better than Messi’s and Ronaldo’s.
 
TECHNIQUE
Flip flap
“I remember him trying to master Ronaldinho’s flip-flap trick,” recalled Chilean journalist Jaime Cortes. “He tried it in training all the time. Eventually he mastered it.”
 
THE SANCHEZ WORKOUT

More after the break

Set-up Stand in final third on the right wing with your back to goal. Position a server on edge of centre circle and a defender behind you.
Action Receiving the ball firmly to feet, turn infield with your first touch using either foot. Accelerate towards the box, where a second defender awaits. Feint to go one way, then go the other. Shoot. Repeat on other wing.
- Michael Amoah, strength & conditioning coach
 
For more football tips see:
Radamel Falcao: How to be a penalty-box predator
Thierry Henry: Finishing at speed
Wayne Rooney's shooting drill
Olivier Giroud: How to create and conquer
Rooney: Big match preparation
Ibrahimovic: How to play as a targetman

Promo sitewide