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The Feyenoord coach has voiced his admiration of the Chile international as he feels the 23-year-old's qualities give something extra to the Blaugrana squad

Former Barcelona star Ronald Koeman, who helped the club to Champions League glory in 1992, has taken time to praise Chilean attacker Alexis Sanchez in the wake of the forward's excellent performance against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old Alexis netted twice at the BayArena to help Barcelona to a 3-1 away win in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie, and Koeman feels that the former Udinese forward is the perfect player for the Blaugrana.

"I did not know much of him, because I didn't see him often at Udinese last year. He has pleasantly surprise me, though. Alexis is the perfect player for Barcelona," Koeman was quoted as saying by Sport.

"He has adapted very well to Barcelona's style of play and fits in perfectly. He offers a lot of variation to Barca's game. He really gives the team something extra with his pace, close control and good runs.

"He has different qualities than the other players at Barcelona, and that's a great thing for a coach."

Alexis joined Barcelona from Udinese for €26 million in the summer transfer window, and has since developed into a key player at the Catalans.

Since November, Goal.com has been publishing exclusive extracts from Graham Hunter's highly-anticipated new book, 'Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World'. The very last extract, which is published on Friday, looks at Andres Iniesta's risky return from injury in the 2009 Champions League Final and how he was described by Wayne Rooney as the 'best midfielder in the world'. Don't miss it!

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