by Lewis Ambrose
Speaking to Arsenal Player, Arsène Wenger has spoken about Alexis Sánchez and that penalty.
Last weekend the Chilean scored the winning penalty to gift his nation their first ever title. Hosting the Copa América, Chile beat Argentina on penalties to win the competition for the first time.
Arsenal star Alexis Sánchez scored the winning penalty with a cool ‘Panenka’, delicately and gracefully chipping the ball into the empty side of the net before leading the wild celebrations.
Wenger praised the star forward, who was top goalscorer in 2014/15 – his first Arsenal season.
“They had quite a comfortable lead when he took the penalty but I was a bit worried because he missed one with us,” said the Arsenal manager.
Despite scoring 25 goals in his first season in England, the former Barcelona man missed the only penalty he has taken in an Arsenal shirt. Facing QPR on Boxing Day, Alexis had a tame penalty saved by Robert Green. That, though, seemed the farthest thing from his mind as he stepped up last Saturday night.
“He has shown again that he is scared of nothing. He took the ball and chipped the keeper. It was quite audacious but I was of course over the moon to see him bring the trophy to a country that has waited for such a long time.
“It is an historic achievement and when you’re a football player, you want to do that, so I’m very happy for him.”
Wenger then contacted Alexis to congratulate him, and the desire of the Chilean was obvious to the Arsenal boss once again.
“I texted him [after the final] and he texted me back.
“He was already focused on next season with Arsenal and wants to win everything with us. He was thrilled and very happy.”
The fact that Alexis was already thinking about playing for Arsenal again is no surprise – he has a huge appetite for the game, and for success. He won’t return to pre-season training having just finished the Copa América, but will return to London Colney in a few weeks time.
Although he will miss the start of the season, Alexis will play a massive part in any success Arsenal hope to have next season.