Alexis Sanchez revelled in the “best thing to happen” to him after Chile claimed back-to-back Copa America titles with a penalty shoot-out win over Argentina on Sunday.
With the scores locked at 0-0 after extra time at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, penalties were to decide who were crowned champions of South America for a second successive year between the two nations.
But just like in 2015, when Chile secured their maiden Copa victory, Sanchez and Co. emerged triumphant, this time thanks to a 4-2 shoot-out win.
Sanchez was also awarded the Golden Ball for best player of the Centenario tournament as Chile successfully defended their Copa crown.
“I have no words. Thanks to the people who came to support us, to my team-mates. This is all so incredible,” the Arsenal star told Deportes 13.
“I am very emotional, even though I don’t fully understand what is happening, that we are champions, against an Argentinean team that are among the best in the world.
“We are in Chilean football history. This is the best thing to happen to me in my life. You don’t win two finals every day.
“I am happy for my team-mates, I think the people, to everyone. I hope that the Chilean people enjoy this a lot.”
Sanchez did not take part in the shoot-out after being substituted off in the first half of extra time, with the 27-year-old feeling the effects of an early challenge.
“Ten minutes in I had to put a bandage on, and I dealt with the pain,” he explained. “One must do this for the national team.”
Eduardo Vargas also received the Golden Boot as top goalscorer of the centenary competition – netting six times in six games – and hailed Chile’s “historic” triumph.
“This was a final everyone wants to play in. Argentina has a national team that is world class,” Vargas said.
“It’s great to beat them. We are a historic group. We are champions.”