Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez is a tireless runner on the pitch, but a story from his past has revealed just how committed the new Old Trafford favourite is after he once ran five miles home after accidentally locking his keys and phone in his car.
The comical incident happened when Sanchez was with Udinese, his first club in Europe. What's more, this was no easy run as the city of Udine, sandwiched between the Adriatic Sea and the Alps mountains in north east Italy, is literally named for its hilly surrounds.
The bizarre story is told by Italian journalist Pietro Oleotto for the latest story of Inside United.
"Once, after training, Alexis drove into Udine to do some shopping. But he accidentally locked his keys and mobile phone in his car," Oleotto recalled.
"I'm not sure what most people would have done, but he just ran home.
"He jogged the 8km from the heart of the city to his house in the hills. Bemused locals saw him in his club tracksuit running and called us at the paper. It was typical of Alexis to turn the situation into an improvised cross-country run."
Oleotto also explained how Sanchez, a skinny winger when he first arrived from South America, would spend two hours in the gym each day at Udinese to build his strength so that he could compete in the physically demanding Serie A games. It shows the level of his dedication.
"He began improving his body and they built him an ad-hoc gym," the journalist said.
"He worked out for two hours a day after training. I remember seeing him halfway through pre-season training camp and being shocked by how much muscle he had put on."
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