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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Group H - Chile

Nickname – La Roja(The red one), El Equipo de Todos(Everybody's team)


Humberto Suazo scoring 10 goals was the natural inheritor of Marcelo Salas. They scored 32 goals but managed to concede 22 goals just to finish second in the group one point behind Brazil. Looks like some problem at the back, but can they keep on scoring more than conceding under Bielsa’s reign? Aiming for similar faith as if we were in 1962 but perhaps this time crushing Brazil.


Jun 16 Nelspruit Honduras v Chile - Chile 3 Honduras 2 in matches played against each other. In spite of that, in the last 3 encounters it was Honduras that took the best of it winning 2-0 and 3-1 and losing only 1-2 against South American fellow Chile.

Jun 21 Pt Elizabeth Chile v Switzerland - Here’s another case of slight differences regarding competitive matches. Switzerland took the best of the h-2-h winning 2 games against 1 from Chile, but the only match played in official competitions saw Chile edge Swiss 3-1 in the 1962 World Cup that actually they hosted.

Jun 25 Pretoria Chile v Spain - No “Chili” to spice things up against Spain. Spain 6 wins against 0 from Chile in a staggering 18-3 goal difference.

Goalkeepers: Claudio Bravo (Real Sociedad), Luis Marín (Union Espanola), Miguel Pinto (U. de Chile)

Defenders: Pablo Contreras (PAOK), Ismael Fuentes (U. Catolica), Mauricio Isla (Udinese), Gonzalo Jara (West Bromwich Albion), Gary Medel (Boca Juniors), Waldo Ponce (U. Catolica)

Midfielders: Jean Beausejour (America), Carlos Carmona (Reggina), Marco Estrada (U. de Chile), Matías Fernández (Sporting Lisbon), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Leverkusen), Rodrigo Millar (Colo-Colo), Rodrigo Tello (Besiktas), Jorge Valdivia (Al Ain)

Strikers: Mark González (CSKA Moscow), Fabián Orellana (Xerez), Esteban Paredes (Colo-Colo), Alexis Sánchez (Udinese), Humberto Suazo (Zaragoza), Gonzalo Fierro (Flamengo)


Marcelo Bielsa strategic approach comes under a dimensioned 3-3-1-3 with a phantom diamond stratagem to delude opponents. The Argentinean adopted Chilean likes to play with 3 defenders and optimizes changes in the midfield to potentiate dangerous attacks. Bravo; Jara, Isla, Vidal; Carmona, Valdivia, Beausejour/Tello, Matias Fernandez; Suazo, Sanchez, Gonzalez.


Valdivia is the Magician of Chilean game even when he is challenged by Matias Fernandez that was prior to the World Cup a 100% sure starter. The difference between them is that in the latest matches played by La Roja Valdivia has done enough to secure the spot and Fernandez due to the lack of match fitness has not. Valdivia is stunning in terms of passing ability and set-pieces, he will be the playmaker of the Chilean squad.

Alexis Sanches, “el Nino Maravilla” plays for Udinese in Italy has got used to the big stages in the world of football and this will be a huge test for him. His pace and technique are the references of him as a player. Maybe due to his age, 21, most of the times he loses focus which comes from selfishness and immaturity. If Bielsa can polish this diamond ahead of the World Cup he may deliver beyond expectations firing Chile to the second round of the World Cup to say the least.

Cocky striker Humberto Suazo was the top goal scorer with 10 under his name in the qualifying stages but was in danger of missing the World Cup due to injury factor. Still he has made into the last 23. Using his ability to control the ball and firing powerful shots will see the Chilean crowd go wild case he can deliver what everyone’s expecting from him despite his bust-ups on and off the field. If he can perform to the level of accuracy that he has done back in 2006 with a 51 goals/season, then you could see Chile make more than expected.


"I'm not looking at this as a chance to get revenge for what happened to me in 2002. Nothing I can ever achieve in the future will make that sadness go away. The most important thing at a World Cup is to make sure the players are in top form and that depends on so many different factors. Some of them you can control, but some are the result of everything the player has been through in the previous ten months. I hope everything comes together for Chile." Coach Marcelo Bielsa


- Marcelo Bielsa –

1 Kirin Cup - 2003;

Career made of 114 matches with 57% Win, 21% Draw, 22% Loss, GS 1,64 GA 0,98


Strength – They are a very offensive team even though they haven’t managed to secure a lot of goals in the last matches played. Having Valdivia and Sanches playing in a consistent form might give room to Chile capitalize on chances especially with Suazo upfront getting the most of it. They rely on pressuring high on the pitch which can provide further chances of scoring goals and consequently winning matches.

Weaknesses – To pressure high you need to have box-to-box gladiators playing otherwise spaces will be wide open to pacy offensive threats on the counter-attack. Chile does not have these profiled players. Even though in this group height might not be a problem, by advancing to the second round that weakness from Chilean should be deadly in their way in this WC.

Opportunities – Overcome the deficit against Honduras will allow them to see the second match against Switzerland in a much brighter way. If they can solve with positive results in the first two matches, then the game against Spain you mean not much more than history and culture.

Threats – Failing to win against Honduras like they have done more recently will jeopardize their chances and add deep pressure for getting results against Swiss and world cup favorite’s Spain.


Number 15 of the World ahead of Serbia, Mexico and Uruguay behind of USA, Greece and France.



Chile 2 2 Venezuela

Brazil 4 2 Chile

Colombia 2 4 Chile

Chile 1 0 Ecuador

Chile 2 1 Paraguay

Slovakia 1 2 Chile

Chile 2 1 Panama

Chile 0 0 Venezuela

Chile 2 0 Trinidad/Tobago

Mexico 1 0 Chile

Chile 1 0 Northern Ireland

Chile 3 0 Israel

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