Alexis - The hardest thing to handle

On the whole, Alexis has very rarely missed a game of football.

A regular starter since breaking through at Cobreloa as a promising 16-year-old, the future Chile forward had played 50 senior games before joining Udinese in 2006.

"I wasn’t nervous," Alexis told Arsenal Player. "As long as I’m playing football I’m happy - wherever that may be.

"When I moved to Italy, I was the happiest man in the world, like a child. Playing football is what makes me happy. I wasn’t interested in money or anything else. All I wanted to do was play football so I could be happy.

"I’m someone who adapts very quickly. What’s been the most difficult for me in my career are the times when I’ve had injuries. When I’m injured, I’m really down. I can’t stand not being able to kick a ball, not going to the gym.

"Above all it’s not kicking a ball that I miss as that’s what makes me happy. I also miss seeing my teammates in training. For me, injury has been the hardest thing to cope with. As a result, I take more care of myself, I’m more professional and that helps me to minimise the chances of further injuries."

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