Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez has criticised the way young footballers have everything handed to them at Premier League academies.

The 24-year-old believes the current system in England has made young players "soft" - and feels his upbringing made him the player he is today.

Sanchez turned professional at Chilean club Cobreloa before joining Udinese in 2006. After loan spells at Colo-Colo and River Plate, the speedy winger cemented his reputation as one of Europe's most exciting attacking players in Serie A.

That subsequently led to a dream move to Barcelona; however, Sanchez doubts he would have scaled such heights had he came through a Premier League academy.

"I used to wash cars for such little money just so I had enough money to buy my football boots," Sanchez revealed an interview with the Express. "When you are at academies like Manchester United and Arsenal then everything is just given to you.

"The problem for teams like England is that everything is so easy for them. They join these academies at maybe 10 or 11 years old and everything is done for them.

"They are so modern and the players are looked after – it is not just England but many European nations."

Sanchez was speaking ahead of Friday night's international friendly between his Chile side and England at Wembley Stadium.

Chile are one of the five South American nations that directly qualified for the 2014 World Cup finals after picking up 28 points from their 16 matches.

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