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Thread: Chile

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    Chile

    Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli named a provisional 30-man FIFA World Cup™ squad with Arturo Vidal of Juventus and Alexis Sanchez of Barcelona the headline names and no major surprises elsewhere.

    Sampaoli, an Argentinian, must whittle his list down to a final 23 by 2 June, before Chile head to Brazil, where they will be in Group B along with defending champions Spain, the Netherlands and Australia.

    Chile squad

    Goalkeepers:
    Claudio Bravo (Real Sociedad/ESP) Johnny Herrera (Universidad de Chile), Cristopher Toselli (Universidad Católica), Paulo Garcés (O'Higgins)

    Defenders:
    Gary Medel (Cardiff City/ENG), José Rojas (Universidad de Chile), Eugenio Mena (Santos/BRA), Gonzalo Jara (Nottingham Forest/ENG), Marcos González (Unión Española), Enzo Andía (Universidad Católica)

    Midfielders:
    Arturo Vidal, Mauricio Isla (both Juventus/ITA), Marcelo Díaz (FC Basel/SUI), Francisco Silva (Osasuna/ESP), Rodrigo Millar (CSD Atlas/MEX), Pedro Pablo Hernández (O'Higgins), Felipe Gutiérrez (FC Twente Enschede/NED), José Pedro Fuenzalida (Colo Colo), Carlos Carmona (Atalanta/ITA), Jean Beausejour (Wigan Athletic/ENG), Charles Aránguiz (Internacional/BRA), Miiko Albornoz (Malmo FF/SWE)

    Forwards:
    Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona/ESP), Eduardo Vargas (Valencia/ESP on loan from Napoli/ITA), Jorge Valdivia (Palmeiras/BRA), Mauricio Pinilla (Cagliari/ITA), Esteban Paredes (Colo Colo), Fabián Orellana (Celta Vigo/ESP), Matías Fernández (Fiorentina/ITA), Gustavo Canales (Unión Española)

    * Squad lists are only official once they have been confirmed and published by FIFA on 16 May at 12:00 CET.

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    Fernandez to miss World Cup

    Chile midfielder Matias Fernandez will undergo right ankle surgery this month and will miss the FIFA World Cup™, Fiorentina confirmed on Friday. Fernandez had been included by Chile national coach Jorge Sampaoli in his preliminary squad for the tournament in Brazil.

    The 28-year-old, who scored three goals in 23 league appearances to help Fiorentina finish fourth in Italian Serie A, has struggled with pain in his right ankle since March.

    A statement from Fiorentina read: "Fiorentina announces that Matias Fernandez had a check up with professor (C Niek) Van Djik in Amsterdam regarding his right ankle injury. The consultant found that the only solution to the painful injury is to undergo arthroscopic surgery to clean out his ankle.

    "Any attempts to continue doing sporting activity in his current state would be limited due to pain. Hence, the player advised by Fiorentina's medical staff, has opted to anticipate the surgery before the World Cup with his national team, in order to be available for the new season."

    Chile play their first Group B match on 13 June against Australia. They also face reigning world and European champions Spain, as well as Holland in their group.

    Fiorentina also confirmed that Peru midfielder Juan Manuel Vargas has undergone surgery to repair an umbilical hernia. Vargas will miss his national team's international friendlies this summer, including the match against England on 30 May at Wembley.

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    Vidal named to Chile's World Cup squad

    Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, recovering from right knee surgery, figured in Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli's 23-player FIFA World Cup™ squad announced on Sunday.

    Vidal underwent a keyhole operation on a meniscus problem two weeks ago, originally prompting fears he could miss Chile's trip to Brazil 2014. The South Americans are drawn in Group B with defending champions Spain, the Netherlands and Australia.

    Chile squad

    Goalkeepers:
    Claudio Bravo (Real Sociedad), Johnny Herrera (Universidad de Chile), Cristopher Toselli (Universidad Catolica)
    Defenders: Gary Medel (Cardiff City), Jose Rojas (Universidad de Chile), Eugenio Mena (Santos), Gonzalo Jara (Nottingham Forest)
    Midfielders: Arturo Vidal (Juventus), Mauricio Isla (Juventus), Marcelo Diaz (Basel), Francisco Silva (Osasuna), Felipe Gutierrez (FC Twente), Jose Pedro Fuenzalida (Colo Colo), Carlos Carmona (Atalanta), Jean Beausejour (Wigan Athletic), Charles Aranguiz (Internacional), Miiko Albornoz (Malmo)
    Forwards: Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona), Eduardo Vargas (Valencia), Jorge Valdivia (Palmeiras), Mauricio Pinilla (Cagliari), Esteban Paredes (Colo Colo), Fabian Orellana (Celta Vigo)

    * Squad lists are only official once they have been confirmed and published by FIFA on 5 June at 12:00 CET.

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    Late goals see Chile outlast Northern Ireland

    Chile completed their 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ preparations with victory over Northern Ireland after two late goals in Valparaiso.

    Michael O'Neill's visitors held their own for 80 minutes but saw their brave resistance broken by substitutes Eduardo Vargas and Mauricio Pinilla. Both men had started on the bench, along with Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez, but all three were needed to stop the party atmosphere falling flat.

    As with Northern Ireland's 1-0 defeat in Uruguay last week, it was a performance O'Neill could take heart from - not least after a pair of first-half free-kicks that might have given his side the lead. But it was still another loss and a fourth successive outing without scoring.

    As it was, Northern Ireland almost ended their drought in the opening seconds, when the ball fell kindly for Billy McKay. The Inverness striker managed a clean connection from 25 yards but Johnny Herrera was well placed to make the save.

    That aside, Chile dictated the pace and looked to starve their opponents of possession. For Northern Ireland, only Steven Davis' tireless running kept his side's heads above water, with the captain covering every inch of grass and stifling a handful of attacks with timely challenges.

    Aaron Hughes was leading the back-line well too, with Chile's selection of flicks and tricks yielding nothing better than a free-kick harshly given against goalkeeper Roy Carroll for handling outside the area.

    Indeed, it was Northern Ireland who went closest to breaking the first-half deadlock from a pair of free-kicks won by the industry of Ryan McLaughlin - starting for the first time - on the right wing.

    Brother Conor McLaughlin's 20th-minute header, from Shane Ferguson's tempting delivery, was destined for the net had Herrera not made a smart save. Oliver Norwood went direct in the 38th minute, whipping a shot to the near post where Herrera again scrambled the ball to safely.

    Chile bounce back
    For all their territorial superiority, Fabian Orellana's scuffed effort was the best Chile could do in response. As the hour mark approached, Jorge Valdivia saw what appeared to be a cross veer towards the top corner and thought he had scored until Carroll backtracked and clawed to safety.

    Moments later, Sanchez made his belated arrival and was almost gifted a bizarre winner when Conor McLaughlin's clearance cannoned off him and needed a sprawling save from the alert Carroll. Valdivia should have scored moments earlier but headed against the post after Gary Medel's flick left him with a six-yard finish.

    The strength of Chile's bench eventually told, Sanchez's chipped through-ball teeing up Vargas for the headed opener 10 minutes from time. He appeared to be marginally offside, but the result was sealed with a second when Pinilla raced into space before depositing a clinical low strike across Carroll.

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    The first South American neighbour arrives in Brazil

    Chile, or La Roja as they are known by their devoted fans, have arrived on Brazilian soil. After two victories in friendly matches against Egypt and Northern Ireland, Chile arrived in Belo Horizonte on Thursday where they will make their final preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, confident and excited to surprise fans during the tournament .

    Chile’s accommodation for the duration of the World Cup – Tocada Raposa II – was ready to receive La Roja with welcome messages to the team led by Jorge Sampaoli. While the whole training centre of Cruzeiro is adorned in colours of the flag of the South American country.

    Chile has a difficult task of going through the first phase in Group B of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, grouped with Spain, Netherlands and Australia. The team’s opening match will be on 13 June against the Australians in Cuiaba.

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    Vidal doubtful for Chile opener

    Key midfielder Arturo Vidal remains an injury doubt for Chile ahead of their FIFA World Cup™ opener against Australia on 13 June in Cuiaba. The Juventus dead-ball specialist again did not train with his team-mates at their base in Belo Horizonte on Monday. Vidal, 28, has been struggling with inflammation in his knee since undergoing an operation on 7 May due to a meniscus problem.

    He made a surprise comeback in last Wednesday's 2-0 friendly victory over Northern Ireland, playing 15 minutes, but has not since been able to train with his team-mates. Tests carried out on Saturday revealed he had inflammation under his right kneecap. Vidal trained apart with some light jogging during the 15 minutes Chile's training session was open to the media, before kicking a ball, but only with his left foot.

    The rest of Chile's squad trained normally together, including Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez, despite suffering from a shoulder problem. Victory is crucial for Chile and Australia who are the two outsiders in Group B, which includes the finalists from South Africa four years ago, holders Spain and the Netherlands.

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    Vidal gives Chile boost ahead of opener

    Chile star Arturo Vidal gave his team a timely boost just two days before their opening FIFA World Cup™ clash against Australia by training with his team-mates. The 28-year-old midfielder has been struggling with inflammation in his knee following an operation on his meniscus just over a month ago. But the Juventus dead-ball specialist trained with his team-mates on Wednesday, the first time he has been able to do so since making a surprise 15-minute cameo comeback a week ago in the 2-0 friendly victory over Northern Ireland.

    Vidal joined the squad a few minutes after they had come out to train at their Toca Da Raposa II base in Belo Horizonte, and showed no signs of discomfort. Until Wednesday, Vidal had been training alone, undergoing physiotherapy and doing specific exercises to improve the condition of his knee. However, in the 15 minutes that were open to the press, Vidal clearly was not in full training, nor striking the ball with any power, although he was kicking again with both feet. Vidal is a vital cog in coach Jorge Sampaoli's team and his presence will be imperative in their next two games against Spain and the Netherlands if they want to progress to the knock-out stages.

    Despite being drawn in such a tough group, forward Alexis Sanchez is feeling confident about their chances, although he acknowledges it will be hard to finish above reigning champions Spain in Group B. "I believe Chile will win the World Cup, if I didn't believe that I would be sitting at home in front of the television," he told Brazilian newspaper O Globo. "I would be happy if we finished second behind them (Spain)."

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    Chile hoping for Vidal return

    Chile are hoping star midfielder Arturo Vidal is fit and able to face Australia in Cuiaba on Friday. The Juventus player has been struggling with inflammation in his right knee following an operation on his meniscus last month and has had a big question mark over his availability to play in the FIFA World Cup™ ever since. Vidal, a free-kick specialist, has trained with the team since Wednesday and featured for 15 minutes in a 2-0 friendly win over Northern Ireland last week.

    "Arturo trained like the rest of us," said Chile midfielder Gary Medel. "He did a good job and didn't have any pain in his knee. We hope that he can be with us for the first game. It will depend on him and how he feels."Medel added: "We want him to take care of himself and if he does play, we hope it (meniscus) doesn't affect him."

    Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli will have two big tests coming up with reigning World Cup champions Spain and Netherlands also in the pool. Medel, who was Cardiff City's record signing when he joined them last summer, says there is a good atmosphere in the squad. He said: "We want to go as far as possible. We want to make history with this group. We hope to go all the way. We have a great generation of players and we have worked really hard to be here. "We hope that people enjoy our play and above all, we want to be champions."

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    Vidal declared fit for Chile's "first final"

    Coach Jorge Sampaoli made 17 million Chileans happy on Friday by declaring star player Arturo Vidal fit for Friday's FIFA World Cup "final" with Australia. Vidal's presence could be vital as an opening win in Cuiaba would put either side in a position to challenge Group B giants Spain, the reigning champions, and the Netherlands for qualification.

    The 28-year-old Juventus midfielder's participation was in jeopardy after struggling with an inflammation to his right knee following surgery on a meniscus problem last month. But allaying a nation's fears, Sampaoli disclosed that the dead-ball specialist's troubles were behind him. "This story's over I think. The physio's done a marvellous job, Vidal's diagnosis is clear, there's a high chance he'll play. "His injury was rather complicated. We will now make a decision on whether he starts on the pitch, or on the bench."

    Chile, who came third in South American qualifying, want to translate some excellent recent results into a long run at this World Cup, especially after falling to Brazil in the Last 16 in 2010. In Australia, Chile face the lowest ranked team at the finals, but Sampaoli is anticipating a tough encounter. "This is really a first final for us against Australia. Our margin for error is small. "We believe Australia will wait for us and counter. I need my players to be nimble and quick to break through strong defences."

    Asked at the pre-match press conference about the prospect of the more imposing Socceroos taking a physical approach, the Chile boss replied: "The physical approach, that was their history. "I think their new manager has coached them differently, instead of being physical it'll be a different kind of duel. Australia are a difficult team, they've changed their set up, they come here without pressure. "Whereas for us we must face nervousness and pressure. Their style can be rather complicated if we have an off day, I think we've got a really tough match ahead."

    The Argentine, whose high pressing style of play has won Chile many plaudits as well as matches, says Vidal, Alexis Sanchez and company are here to do business. "We're hungry, we want to go beyond our present performance level.

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    A place in history for returning Beausejour

    As Jean Beausejour wheeled away after his sweetly struck drive nestled in the bottom corner of the Australian net, there was a little more to the winger's celebrations than usual – and all because he had been there before. The stoppage-time goal not only sealed the South Americans' 3-1 win to kick-start their Brazil 2014, it also wrote his name into the history books as the first Chilean to score in two different FIFA World Cup tournaments, having scored in the opening game of South Africa 2010 too. “I'm very happy to have achieved that. It's an amazing sensation I'm feeling right now,” the Wigan Athletic wide-man exclusively told FIFA.com.

    While his winner against Honduras four years ago re-announced them on the world stage, today's goal capped off an important but difficult win, against a resolute Australia side. But Beausejour knows the first part of Chile's plans are only half done. “The most important thing was the victory for the team, but our main focus is getting out of the group and at the moment we need another win to get into the last 16.” During the latter stages of the game Chile were visibly tiring, with their opponents looking odds-on to score in the second-half. La Roja defender Gonzalo Jara was well aware of the important of making a good start in Cuiaba, but knows they have more left in the tank. “We needed to win the first game. It was a very important three points, we know we have a very difficult group,” he told FIFA.com.

    “We can play much better. In the second half it was really, really hard after you've been playing in 30 degrees. They have a really good team. They play with wingers, they put every single ball into the box and they have a really good player in Tim Cahill.” Next up in Group C is a Spain side who will no doubt be licking their wounds following their 5-1 humbling at the hands of the Netherlands, and Jara knows they will be arriving in Rio with one thing on their mind. “They need to win their next game,” he said with a matter-of-fact look across his face. “At the last World Cup Spain lost against Switzerland in their opening game, now it's the same. It's really difficult to face Spain, but we've played many friendly games against them, we know their tactics, we know their football.”

    A victory there would all but guarantee a last 16 spot – the same stage they reached under Marcelo Bielsa in South Africa. But, as Beausejour headed for the team bus and their return flight, he gave a hint that he believes this side can surpass that achievement. “In some ways [the two sides] are very similar, but this team has more quality, purely because we now have an even greater amount of experience.” That experience will no doubt be tested to its very limits, with Soccer City's two finalists from four years ago lying in wait.

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