QPR’s Mauricio Isla backs Chile teammate Alexis Sanchez to become world’s best player after promising Arsenal start

QPR defender Mauricio Isla is convinced his Chile international colleague Alexis Sanchez will become the best player in the world after a sensational start to his Arsenal career this season.

Sanchez and Isla were this week included in a 20-man Chile squad to play a friendly against Brazil at the Emirates Stadium on March 29, and also against Iran.

Sanchez, who has scored 18 goals this season, has helped fire Arsenal to third in the Premier League table, where they sit just a point behind Manchester City.

And Isla, who is on a season-long loan deal at Loftus Road from Juventus after impressing for Chile at last summer’s World Cup in Brazil, believes Sanchez has all the ingredients – and the temperament – to eclipse even Barcelona striker Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo as the best in the business.

“I have known him for ten years and I think Alexis has shown what he is made of,” said Isla. “He has always said that he wanted to be the best in the world and now he has arrived in a team where this can truly become a reality.

“He can build confidence and where they play for him and he transmits the confidence that his teammates give him but honestly, I am not at all surprised by the quality of Alexis as a player.

“I am proud to play alongside him for Chile, as I am proud to play alongside Arturo Vidal of Juventus and Claudio Bravo of Barcelona among others. I think together we are able to succeed and it would be fantastic for our country.

“Alexis Sanchez is a leader as are the other two. Of course, the team is a group but there are always role models in any team and I think these three in particular are fundamental to ours.

“There are always high quality players and these three are the pillars of our team and the rest of us must accompany them to achieve great things.

“Firstly Alexis Sanchez provides what I believe we lacked before which are his goals.

“It’s fantastic that he is scoring so much which fills him with confidence and joy and I hope he continues to keep scoring always more.

“If we were to talk about his characteristics, we could be here all day but for me, I love playing with a player who’s so bold, who is a fighter, runs for 90 minutes and always loves training.

“I have heard from many of his Arsenal teammates also that he never tires in training or on the pitch and this is fundamental for the team.”

Also included in the squad is Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, former Cardiff midfielder Gary Medel, Fiorentina’s David Pizarro, QPR’s Eduardo Vargas and Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal.

And Isla has issued a warning to Brazil boss Dunga to expect a serious test against fellow South Americans Chile at the Emirates Stadium.

The friendly in North London will take on extra significance as Brazil secured a dramatic penalty shootout win against Chile to reach the last eight at the World Cup last summer and set up an all-South American quarter-final against Colombia.

“It’s a game that give brings up some pain, for everything that happened in the World Cup which was a beautiful game, I think as much for Brazil as it was for Chile,” added Isla.

“The game played on for 120 minutes before going to penalties and sadly Brazil won but they really had to work for it.

“To play this game as a revenge match in a beautiful country, and beautiful city such as London, all Chileans will take interest and I hope it goes well.”

Brazil v Chile is on March 29 at 3pm at the Emirates Stadium in London. Tickets are on sale at

Picture courtesy of DSanchez17, with thanks

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