Your guide to SA 2010 : Chile



Chile's recent renaissance has been capped by a return to the FIFA World cup after a gap of 12 years. In the International wilderness since France 1998, La Roja believe they have the resources to advance beyond the group stage this year. The Chilean side is the youngest in terms of average age amongst all the South American teams and finished second in the continental qualifying group, just one point behind leaders Brazil.

Marco Biesla nicknamed El Loco (The Madman) for his unique dedication to the game, is hard working and principled. He is a devoted student of tactics and an advocate of enterprising football, characteristics that have earned him huge popularity in his adopted homeland, where the fans are anxious for him to remain in the post for many years to come. He is the man behind Chile's unlikely revival and impressive performances over the past year.

Goalkeepers :
Claudio Bravo, Miguel Pinto, Luis Marin

Defenders :
Ismael Fuentes, Waldo Ponce, Mauricio Isla, Pablo Contreras, Gary Medel, Gonzalo Jara.

Midfielders :
Carlos Carmona, Arturo Vidal, Jorge Valdivia, Marco Estrada, Matias Fernandez, Gonzalo Fierro, Rodrigo Millar, Rodrigo Tello.

Forwards :
Alexis Sanchez, Humberto Suazo, Mark Gonzalez, Jean Beausejour, Fabian Orellana, Esteban Paredes.

Alexis Sanchez

Frankly speaking, there was a choice for me to pick up the Man to Watch for this tournament with Alexis Sanchez and Humberto Suazo the contenders. I finally chose Alexis Sanchez for his fantastic creative ability and pace. Sanchez who plays for Serie A side Udinese, has been the best young player for them this season. He has scored goals as well as created many. His flawless technique and excellent dribbling skills coupled with his pace make for a very lethal combination. He will surely be leaving a lot of defenders flat footed with his skill thriughout the tournament and La Roja will expect him to lead the line up front in this year's showpiece.

Chile have been placed in a very open group alongwith Spain, Switzerland and Honduras. Along with favourites Spain, Chile have the quality in their squad and a wily manager at the helm which could lead them to qualifying for the knockout round. It's a very open group though and La Roja will have to battle it out mainly with Switzerland for the second qualification spot. All in all, they have a good chance of making it to the knockout round.
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