Qualifying third in the CONMEBOL group, Chile’s real issue is their defence, with Jorge Sampaoli’s side conceding 25 goals from the 16 games played, eleven more than second placed Colombia. At the other end however, the Chileans scored 29 times, second only to Argentina, and much will rest on the shoulders of their vibrant forward line if they are to be a success in Brazil this summer.
Manager: Jorge Sampaoli
Captain: Claudio Bravo
World Cup Winners: N/A
World Cup Runners up: N/A
Best Finish: Third place (Chile 1962)
Chile 2014 World Cup Preview:
Sampaoli often plays with three at the back, with the real emphasis on the attack. Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez and Valencia man Eduardo Vargas are a real handful up front, and if they can get into a good rhythm, they will cause problems in Group B. With Spain and the Netherlands both awaiting them in South America, Chile will have to keep their balance and organisation, something they have struggled to do in recent months.
Much will rest on the broad shoulders of star midfielder Arturo Vidal, who is a genuinely world class operator from the centre of midfield. The Juventus man is the heartbeat of the side, able and willing to join in attacks, while also retaining excellent discipline further back.
Chile will surely concede goals in Brazil, what with their major Group B opponents so dangerous coming forward, and if they are to have any hope of progressing, La Roja will need to see off one of the finalists of South Africa 2010, no mean feat.
Chile 2014 World Cup Squad:
Goalkeepers: Claudio Bravo (Real Sociedad), Johnny Herrera (Universidad de Chile), Cristopher Toselli (Universidad Católica)
Defenders: Gonzalo Jara (Nottingham Forest), José Rojas (Universidad de Chile), Eugenio Mena (Santos), Mauricio Isla (Juventus)
Midfielders: Jorge Valdívia (Palmeiras), Felipe Gutiérrez (Twente), José Pedro Fuenzalida (Colo Colo), Francisco Silva (Osasuna), Arturo Vidal (Juventus), Charles Aránguiz (Internacional), Marcelo Díaz (Basel), Carlos Carmona (Atalanta), Miiko Albornoz (Malmo), Jean Beausejour (Wigan Athletic), Gary Medel (Cardiff City).
Forwards: Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona), Esteban Paredes (Colo Colo), Eduardo Vargas (Valencia), Mauricio Pinilla (Cagliari), Fabián Orellana (Celta).
Key player(s): Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal
Chile 2014 World Cup Stats: