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.”
“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.”
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
The amount Sanchez says he matured at the 2010 World Cup. “I was liberated,” he said. A year later, he left Udinese for Barcelona.
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
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.
“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
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