World Cup Team Profile - Chile
Coach: Jorge Sampaoli
Captain: Claudio Bravo (Real Sociedad)
Full Chile Roster
Road to Rio: Chile stayed with the pack in CONMEBOL by winning the games they needed to, notably the teams that would finish below them in the bottom four.
Their record against fellow qualifiers Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay produced just two wins and one tie. Against Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay, however, they won seven of eight matches.
That said, they still finished ahead of both Uruguay and Ecuador, buoyed in large part by a 2-1 win over the latter in their qualifying finale.
Last World Cup appearance: South Africa 2010 (Round of 16)
First World Cup appearance: Uruguay 1930 (Group Stage)
Previous World Cup appearances: 8
Best World Cup finish: Third Place (Chile 1962)
Chile cannot escape their recent World Cup history with Brazil, one of the many things they could very well have to reverse if they plan to make a deep run in 2014.After finishing second in the group stage of the 2010 World Cup tournament in South Africa, dropping only the final round robin game to eventual champion Spain, Chile advanced to a knockout stage matchup against Brazil.
Just as they were in the 1998 tournament, their last qualification pre-2010, Chile were eliminated by their fellow South American nation in convincing fashion; 3-0 in 2010 and 4-1 in 1998. Under manager Jorge Sampaoli, Chile are known as a team that will be very aggressive on both sides of the ball which will make them not only a thrilling team to watch but one of the best upset or bust bets in the tournament. They will press the ball defensively, look to quickly counter up the field and hopefully force their opponents into mistakes.
Chile will rely on Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez, who was the La Liga side’s second leading scorer behind only Lionel Messi and ahead of big money transfer Neymar this past season. His marquee game leading up to the World Cup was a match winning brace in a 2-0 victory over England at Wembley Stadium that started the chatter about Chile’s prospects of being real players at this year’s competition.
Midfielder Arturo Vidal of Juventus has been ruled healthy enough to participate in the tournament and will be another key man for Chile both offensively and defensively. If he can marshall the midfield and win balls as well as chip in with a few key goals, Chile could find themselves right in the thick of things in Group B.
Their first match will be against Australia and that’s one they’ll have to win to have any chance of a top two finish as they run into Spain and Netherlands to close out round robin play. They will have the advantage of not having to adjust to the South American climate and will try to use their high tempo style to run their opponents off the pitch. If they finish second in the group and advance to the knockout stage they could very well get their third straight shot at their old friends from Brazil.