Alexis Sanchez feels a love when playing for Chile that he perhaps does not with Manchester United, according to coach Reinaldo Rueda.
Sanchez endured a miserable Premier League season, but he scored his second Copa America goal in as many games in a 2-1 win over 10-man Ecuador on Friday.
The attacker also played through an ankle injury, scoring a 51st-minute winner to move onto two Copa goals, which is more than the one he managed in 20 Premier League games in 2018-19.
In fact, the forward has managed just five goals in 45 appearances across all competitions since joining United in January 2018 and has been linked with an Old Trafford exit this summer.
Rueda feels Sanchez’s struggles domestically are a reflection of United’s battles, but he also believes the 30-year-old is more loved with the national team.
“He has the motivation, affection and some relationships that he has in the national team and maybe he didn’t have them in Manchester,” Rueda said after Chile moved into the quarter-finals.
“He arrived at a difficult, inopportune moment, perhaps in the most unbalanced United in recent years.”
Chile are guaranteed to advance from Group C after also winning their opening game 4-0 against Japan, but they must avoid defeat against Uruguay in Rio de Janeiro on Monday to secure top spot.
Uruguay started with a bang as they too recorded a 4-0 win to start their Copa America campaign, easing past an Ecuador side whose ill-discipline saw them shown the first of what would be two red cards in as many games.
However, they struggled to a 2-2 draw with Japan last time out and need at least a draw to be certain of qualification to the knockout stages.