SANTIAGO – Arsenal superstar Alexis Sanchez has been slammed by a former Chile U20 coach for being “fatter than normal” after his poor display in his national team’s 3-0 loss to Paraguay in a recent 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
The 28-year-old Chilean failed to inspire his team-mates as they were humbled by Francisco Arce’s side at home – leaving their hopes of qualifying for Russia in the balance.
According to former national youth coach Jose Soluntay, the forward looked sluggish throughout the match.
“I saw him gone, I saw him out of physical shape, totally. He’s fatter than normal,” he told La Cuarta.
“Without his spark, he never left that Paraguayan defence behind. He never made a diagonal run, it was something else. It was not Alexis.
“This can bring you problems later, the statements of wanting to leave (the national camp). His teammates must have felt nothing for him.”
Chile currently sit in fourth spot – the final automatic qualifying place in the South American Preliminary Competition for the 2018 World Cup – with the fifth-placed side facing an Oceanic country in a play-off.
Sanchez and his international team-mates will get a chance to bounce back from that loss on the road against Bolivia on Tuesday.