Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez has documented the sacrifices he made to win the Copa America for Chile on his Twitter account. The 27-year-old played the opening 90 minutes as Juan Antonio Pizzi's side retained their title from 12 months ago on the 100th anniversary of the South American showcase tournament, but was withdrawn during extra time after suffering a knock.
Sanchez scooped the tournament's Golden Ball prize, awarded to the best player, after scoring three goals and making two assists in six matches. Chile overcame Argentina on penalties in the final for a second straight year. The Gunners star was not involved in the shootout after being taken off, but has now disclosed via social media the possible reason for his withdrawal.
Alongside four photos of his ankle, which is noticeably inflamed, Sanchez wrote: "It was worth it!!! Very happy." The Arsenal man has not revealed the full extent of the injury, but nevertheless will be urged to take a lengthy rest after participating in a major international tournament for a third summer in a row.
Having appeared at the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 and 2016 Copa Americas – played for a second straight year in order to mark 100 years since the first edition of the tournament – Sanchez has been faced with a hectic schedule, with commitments with his club Arsenal having also not relented. Manager Arsene Wenger was forced to rest Sanchez last term following a poor start to the campaign and the Frenchman is fearful a similar scenario could play out this coming season.
"It had an impact on him [Alexis] this season I think," Wenger said of Sanchez, who scored the winning penalty in 2015, according to the Arsenal official website. "Of course Chile won it as well, so after some big achievement like that you always have a bit of decompression. I think he suffered physically this season from that."