Alexis has come a long way since his days of playing street football in Tocopilla.
His career has taken him across the globe, playing for and against some of the biggest clubs on the planet while starring at World Cups and in Copa Americas.
Some players may find their love of the game tested by this exposure to the relentless nature of the schedule - but Alexis is certainly not one of them.
“I find that when I have a football, any problems disappear,” he told Arsenal Player. “I just feel happy. I become a child again. Playing with a ball has always given me huge pleasure and it still does.”
He may be one of the most experienced players around now, but Alexis can still recall exactly how it felt to make his debut as a 16-year-old for Cobreloa.
“I had been sitting on the bench,” he said. “The first time I played there were a lot of other players on the bench who were of first-team standard. Many had much more experience than I had.
“The manager said he wanted me to play and I couldn’t believe it. I played and it all went well. Everything was very straightforward. I even found the match a bit boring because it all seemed so easy for me!
“I think most players are OK playing alongside youngsters. Young players are innocents. I was only 15 or 16. I was young and all I wanted to do was to be happy playing football.
“I wasn’t aware of what was happening around me because I was still a child. Whether they knew it or not, the players and the manager taught me a lot. They also made fun of me but you know what, when I had a ball, I was the happiest child in the world.
"I just feel happy. I become a child again. Playing with a ball has always given me huge pleasure."
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