World Cup Profile: Chile

News

Having looked at European giants Spain and Netherlands earlier today, we now outline their South American counterparts Chile.

With a host of European-based stars, Chile are a well-drilled and organised team who could spring a surprise at this year’s World Cup, despite being drawn in a difficult group. They will know the South American conditions well, and will look to add to their impressive tally of 9 wins from their 16 qualifiers.

Qualification: W 9, D 1, L 6

Previous World Cup appearances: 8

Best World Cup finish: Third place (1962)

Current FIFA ranking: 14

Coach: Argentinean manager Jorge Sampaoli has been at the helm for two years, and has brought a noticeable change in the Chilean team, employing a high-pressing game with quick movement of the ball. 

Captain: Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo has been part of the Chilean national set-up for over a decade, and has skippered the side since 2007. He will have his hands full leading his side through a difficult group, while also trying to keep opponents at bay in a notoriously porous Chile defence.

Key player: Diminutive forward Alexis Sanchez will hope to be both provider and finisher for his country over the next month. Deployed mostly out wide in attack, Sanchez impresses with his darting runs and industry, and often chips in with a goal when his side breaks on the counter.

Sanchez has enjoyed a stellar campaign with Barcelona, averaging more than a goal every two matches he has started, and was an able replacement during Lionel Messi’s two-month injury lay-off, proving his worth with a number of match-winning performances and important goals. His trickery and pace make him the ideal winger, while his deft touches and audacious chips have left many keepers flat-footed with their tails between their legs.

Having played at every level of Chile’s youth ranks, Sanchez made his full senior debut at 17 against New Zealand in 2006 and since then, despite a few injury lay-offs, the 25-year-old has amassed over 50 caps. An integral member of the Chilean squad at the 2010 World Cup and the 2011 Copa America, Sanchez’s four goals in qualifying are a perhaps a sign of greater things to come in Brazil. 

Check out the full Chile squad on KickOff.com’s all-new World Cup site.

Key fixture: Chile have been drawn alongside Spain in the group stages for the second time in successive World Cups, and will look to avenge their narrow 2-1 loss in 2010.

All fixtures

14 June, 00:00          Chile vs Australia

18 June, 21:00          Spain vs Chile

23 June, 18:00          Holland vs Chile

Don’t miss the current edition of KICKOFF magazine for 16 pages of World Cup analysis, plus TWO World Cup wall charts, so you can follow every game of the world showpiece. 

Be sure to keep visiting KickOff.com for daily profiles and news on the all the teams in this year’s World Cup.

comments