Alexis Sanchez is a Chilean hero after a rise from humble origins

Alexis Sanchez's climb to the heights of world football is truly the stuff of dreams. AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis

This is a profile of Alexis Sanchez, who is part of ESPN's World Fame 100.

He's not the most charismatic footballer in the country, and nobody will underline what he says. But in Chile, Alexis Sanchez is the idol of millions of people.

Considered by many the best Chilean soccer player of all time, Sanchez is admired for something different. His life story has brought him a great deal of popularity because it meets all the premises of the golden dream.

From humble origins in Tocopilla and being the son of a single mother with three brothers, every accomplishment has been the result of a great deal of effort and self-discipline. From those matches he played for money against adults or bigger boys to moving to Santiago de Chile at the age of 14 with the aim of becoming a professional soccer player.

During his methodical rise, he played for Colo Colo, one of the biggest clubs in Chile, for River Plate of Argentina and for Udinese of Serie A until stepping onto the big stage with Barcelona. After that came Arsenal, and then a few months ago Manchester United as the highest-paid player in the history of the Premier League.

Back when he played with his friends in the Tocopilla streets with a ball made of rags, Sanchez used to say, smiling and with a sense of self-confidence, that someday he was going to become the best player in the whole world. Nowadays, as a wealthy man and followed by millions in Twitter, he knows he belongs to the elite of the game.