Alexis Sanchez is more 'concrete' than Neymar, says Antonio Di Natale

Di Natale praises his former team-mate at Udinese

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The Independent Football

Antonio Di Natale has hailed his former team-mate at Udinese Alexis Sanchez, saying that the Arsenal forward is better than Brazil's captain Neymar.

Di Natale played with Sanchez at Udinese between 2008 and 2011, scoring 41 goals combined as a front pairing. In an interview with, Di Natale was asked about the recent meeting between Sanchez's Chile and Brazil's Neymar at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, and said that he believe Sanchez is a better player.

"They’re both wonderful players, who play talismanic roles for top club sides," he said.

"When you’re talking about players at that level, it’s always difficult to say who’s better. If I was a coach, I’d love to have both of them in my team. But if I had to choose one, I’d choose Alexis: because he’s a little more ‘concrete’ than the Brazilian."

Neymar joined Barcelona for £50m in 2013, while Sanchez left the Catalan giants to sign for Arsenal for £35m last summer. He has since scored 20 goals for the Gunners this season, and appeared in 43 games for the club this term, more than any other Arsenal player.

The 37-year-old Di Natale, who still plays for the Serie A side, says that the best is yet to come from Sanchez.


"Alexis is able to do everything, he’s one of the most complete attackers in the world: he could play as a winger, as a striker, as an inside forward. At Udinese, there were even emergencies where he filled in as a midfielder! But that’s not to say he can’t get better," he added.

"When a player thinks he has no need to improve, he’s close to the end, he’s destined to be dethroned. Sanchez, on the contrary, has always shown a hunger to get better, and he’s always been willing to sacrifice the sweat and tears to do so. I never got the sense that he was satisfied with what he achieved.

Antonio Di Natale (left) celebrates a goal for Udinese

"This lack of complacency has helped him to become the star he is, and it is what will help him remain on the top for many years. It’s hard to say exactly where he can improve. Like me, he’s not a giant: maybe there is scope for him to become a better header of the ball. Maybe…"