Can Sánchez play in this season's Champions League?

Chile's most experienced UEFA Champions League player, Alexis Sánchez has left Arsenal for Manchester United; is he eligible to play in this season's knockout stages?

Alexis Sánchez has been playing in the UEFA Europa League for Arsenal this season
Alexis Sánchez has been playing in the UEFA Europa League for Arsenal this season ©Getty Images

Alexis Sánchez has left UEFA Europa League contenders Arsenal to join UEFA Champions League challengers Manchester United on a four-and-a-half-year contract. Does that mean he is ineligible for the rest of this season's competition?

No. Since he has not played in the UEFA Champions League this season, Sánchez can be registered for the knockout rounds. Here are the relevant extracts from the competition regulations.

  • 44.01 For all matches from the start of the round of 16, a club may register a maximum of three new eligible players for the remaining matches in the current competition. Such registration must be completed by 1 February 2018 (24.00CET) at the latest. This deadline cannot be extended.
  • 44.02 One player from the above quota of three who has been fielded in a UEFA club competition group stage match for another club in the current season may exceptionally be registered, provided that the player has not been fielded:
    a. in the same competition for another club; or
    b. for another club that is currently in the same competition.

Should Sánchez be registered, he could line up away to Sevilla on 21 February. He will also have sights on a return to the top of the list of Chile's all-time top UEFA Champions League appearance-makers, and could even become the first Chilean to win Europe's premier club competition.

Most appearances by a Chilean player in the European Champion Clubs' Cup/UEFA Champions League (including qualifying)

51: Arturo Vidal (Leverkusen, Juventus, Bayern München)
48: Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona, Arsenal)
35:
David Pizarro (Inter Milan, Roma)
28: Junior Fernandes (Leverkusen, Dinamo Zagreb)
27: Marcelo Salas (Lazio, Juventus)
22: Rodrigo Tello (Sporting CP, Beşiktaş)
17: Pablo Contreras (Monaco, Sporting CP, Celta Vigo, PAOK, Olympiacos)
17: Marcelo Díaz (Basel)
17: Iván Zamorano (Real Madrid, Inter Milan)
14: Mark González (Liverpool, CSKA Moskva)
14: Ángelo Henríquez (Dinamo Zagreb)

Watch Chile's finest in action
Watch Chile's finest in action

Top-scoring Chilean players in the European Champion Clubs' Cup/UEFA Champions League (including qualifying)

14: Arturo Vidal (Leverkusen, Juventus)
13:
Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona, Arsenal)
7: Iván Zamorano (Real Madrid, Inter Milan)
5: Junior Fernandes (Dinamo Zagreb)
5: Marcelo Salas (Lazio, Juventus)
3: Marcelo Díaz (Basel)
3: David Pizarro (Inter Milan, Roma)
2: Mark González (Liverpool, CSKA Moskva)
2:
Ángelo Henríquez (Dinamo Zagreb)
2: Rodrigo Tello (Sporting CP, Beşiktaş)

South American stars in action
South American stars in action

Most appearances by Chilean players in UEFA club competition*

75: Arturo Vidal (Leverkusen, Juventus, Bayern München)
72: David Pizarro (Udinese, Inter Milan, Roma, Man. City, Fiorentina)
66: Matías Fernández (Villarreal, Sporting CP, Fiorentina)
59: Alexis Sánchez (Udinese, Barcelona, Arsenal)
50: Iván Zamorano (Real Madrid, Inter Milan)
47: Junior Fernandes (Bayer Leverkusen, Dinamo Zagreb)
46: Pablo Contreras (Monaco, Sporting CP, Celta Vigo, Braga, PAOK , Olympiacos)
44: Rodrigo Tello (Sporting CP, Beşiktaş, Eskişehirspor)
42: Mauricio Isla (Udinese, Juventus, Marseille)
36: Marcelo Díaz (Basel)
35: Marcelo Salas (River Plate, Lazio, Juventus)

Marcelo Salas celebrates a Juventus goal
Marcelo Salas celebrates a Juventus goal©Getty Images

Top-scoring Chilean players in UEFA club competition*

21: Iván Zamorano (Real Madrid, Inter Milan)
18: Arturo Vidal (Leverkusen, Juventus, Bayern München)
14: Alexis Sánchez (Udinese, Barcelona, Arsenal)
10: Marcelo Salas (River Plate, Lazio, Juventus)
7: Junior Fernandes (Bayer Leverkusen, Dinamo Zagreb)
6: Matias Fernández (Villarreal, Sporting CP, Fiorentina)
6: Ángelo Henríquez (Dinamo Zagreb)
5: David Pizarro (Udinese, Inter Milan, Roma, Man. City, Fiorentina)
5: Eduardo Vargas (Napoli, Villarreal)
4: Marcelo Díaz (Basel)
4: Mark González (Liverpool, CSKA Moskva)

Iván Zamorano in 1998
Iván Zamorano in 1998©Getty Images

Only Chilean to win a major UEFA club competition

Iván Zamorano (Inter Milan, 1997/98 UEFA Cup)

Only Chilean player to feature in a European Champion Clubs' Cup/UEFA Champions League final

Arturo Vidal (Juventus 1-3 Barcelona, 2014/15)

Chilean runners-up in major UEFA competition finals

Iván Zamorano (Inter Milan, 1996/97 UEFA Cup)
Rodrigo Tello (Sporting CP, 2004/05 UEFA Cup)

Only Chilean coach to feature in a European Champion Clubs' Cup/UEFA Champions League final

Fernando Riera (AC Milan 2-1 Benfica, 1962/63)

*UEFA club competitions means European Champion Clubs' Cup/UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League, European/South American Cup, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Intertoto Cup

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