Alexis Sanchez joined Manchester United from Arsenal during the winter transfer window and has been handed the iconic No 7 shirt at the club. Speaking to the former Arsenal legend, the Chilean has opened up about his childhood and how he has changed as a person since moving to Europe.
“During my childhood, my dream was the same as yours: to be a footballer and to play with the best,” Sanchez told Henry. “Sometimes in South America that can be harder than here in Europe, because we dream of coming to Europe.
“Maybe I’d be working in the region where I’m from, doing other things. I think football saves many people. It can give you a life of luxury, but people don’t see all the effort that goes in behind the scenes.
“That might mean not seeing your family, or missing your mother’s birthday, many players are so focused that they miss the birth of their children, but I love football and that’s what I do. I enjoy myself and I’m just trying to be happy.”
“You might cry during a game if you lose a final,” he continued.
“That’s all part of football. In the Barcelona dressing room after the Chelsea game, I saw Leo (Messi) cry. That’s because players demand so much from themselves. People don’t see that.
“Sometimes people say things such as: “He’s got too big for his boots” Or say: “he’s changed”. You buy a flash car and people say that you’re a show-off. I’ve learnt so much over time and with the experience that I’ve gained. You can’t please everyone.
“There’ll always be one or two who get angry. I’ve learnt so much from playing football.”
The Chilean International also spoke about Manchester United and the pride that he feels when wearing the No 7 shirt at the club.
“I think that Manchester United… since I was young – and I’m not just saying this because I’m here I’m an honest guy and I never lie – I think it’s the biggest club in England. That’s what I think,”
“There are lots of big clubs, and having played for Arsenal, they are also one of them.
It’s a huge club and I was there, but coming here, looking at the badge. I’m so proud to wear the No 7 shirt.
“And I know many people say there’s added pressure linked to that or it might work against you, but I simply enjoy my football whether I’m No 10 or 9. Or any other number. Or even 14 or 12!”