Alexis Sanchez admits the intensity of English football is exhausting but insists he is happy in the Premier League.
The 26-year-old has started more games for Arsenal than any other player this season in his debut year since arriving from Barcelona last summer in a £35million deal.
Sanchez has been praised by team-mates for his relentless work ethic with manager Arsene Wenger revealing the forward’s boundless enthusiasm makes it difficult to leave him out of the first team.
He was rested for a week in December to avoid fears of burnout but has played in 15 of the Gunners’ 18 games since and revealed he is relishing the intensity of the competition.
“I am well adapted to the country and the league,” he said. “I must keep on learning, though. I want to expand my knowledge of English football in general and Arsenal and my team-mates in particular, but overall I love this league. At the end of the day, football was invented in this country, right? I live where football was invented. That makes me really happy.
“Ever since I started watching Premier League I found English football very appealing. I hope to keep on learning from my team-mates and keep on improving day after day. That’s what I am here for.
“Here in the Premier League you can get beaten 3-0 by a team laying at the bottom of the table. It is not an unusual thing in English football. That is why any prediction ahead of the game may be very deceptive.
“Regardless of how good or bad the team you play against is, you can feel that there’s a huge crowd and pressure everywhere you go. I really like that.
“When I played for Barcelona I knew that some home games were going to be easier than some others as the team had plenty of confidence. That confident mentality helped Barcelona players win games.
“However, a confident mentality may not be enough when it comes to the Premier League. Your opponent is going to run and fight endlessly, regardless of your confidence levels.”
The Gunners will be high on confidence after Monday night’s FA Cup quarter-final victory against Manchester United and Sanchez believes Arsenal can beat any team if they replicate the robust mentality that characterised their win at Old Trafford.
“It was a very physically demanding game, a box to box one,” he said. “I got back home both happy and exhausted. The team played the game with a great attitude and with a genuine spirit to win it from the very first minute. We never put our head down against a top club like Manchester United. That attitude gave us the victory.
“We also played like that away at Manchester City. We showed a great winning mentality that day. If we add that to the very talented squad we have we will be able to beat anyone.
“The Champions League race is all down to us. If we want to stay in the top four or climb some places on the table we must maintain the winning mentality. I always say that mentality is a crucial aspect in a football environment. If a footballer goes on the pitch with the right mentality he will perform well.”
Sanchez is set to play at the Emirates Stadium for club and country over the next two weeks with West Ham the visitors tomorrow ahead of Chile’s clash with Brazil at the end of the month. Around 50,000 tickets have already been sold for the international.
Chile lost to Brazil in last summer’s World Cup finals and Sanchez admits he is still scarred by that defeat.
He said: “I will always feel gutted about that loss against Brazil. I remember that game well and I still don’t forget that we hit the post in the last minute of the game. But that’s part of football. We could have made it through to the next round and that feeling will remain in me forever.”