Alexis Sanchez was named the Golden Ball winner, traditionally awarded to the Copa America’s player of the tournament. The player was named the winner after Chile’s penalty-win over Argentina in the Copa America final.
In a tightly contested match that saw both Chile and Argentina end the 1st half with 10-men, Chile put in a repeat performance of last summers tournament. Arturo Vidal opened the penalty shoot out with a miss, but was followed by Lionel Messi’s missed spot kick, as well.
The two sides traded goals, before Argentina’s Lucas Bigilia missed as the fourth penalty take for his country. Francisco Silva converted right after, sealing Chile’s second consecutive Copa America win, and the second in their history.
Unfortunately, the final will be remembered as a controversial affair, with both sending offs appearing to be incredibly harsh, and a number of other decisions causing outrage from both benches.
Alexis finished the tournament with 3 goals and 2 assists in six matches. He was unable to finish the final and was seen walking around the pitch with his knee bandaged after the match.
Before Sunday’s final, reports circulated that Alexis had hobbled out of Chile’s last training session before the final with an ankle injury.
That injury was exacerbated within 5 minutes of the match, when his ankle was stood on and twisted at an unpleasant angle. Alexis clearly struggled thereafter and could be seen limping all over the pitch immediately after breaking into sprints.
The extent of his injury has yet to be reported but he will likely receive a lengthy time off before joining Arsenal in pre-season.
Alexis wasn’t the only Chilean player to scoop an award. Claudio Bravo took the Golden Glove, his second consecutive win, and Eduardo Vargas won the Golden Boot with his six goals topping the goal scoring charts.