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Chile are the biggest team in South America not to have lifted the Copa America, and it is a constant millstone around their necks as they try to end this history of under-achievement in 2011. The good news is that they undoubtedly have the squad to do it, and with young talents like Gary Medel and Alexis Sanchez in the squad you would be a fool to write off the Roja.

Coach Claudio Borghi took over in a time of near-crisis following the resignation of the popular Bielsa, but the down-to-earth Argentine has steadied the ship and gradually brought in his own men and ideas. There will be no complex, Bielsista tactical diagrams from the ex-Boca coach, who prefers to keep intervention to a minimum and let his players exploit their natural talent.


Alexis Sanchez

The Udinese striker is one of the most coveted young players in Europe right now. Opposition defences tremble when they see his name on the team-sheet, and the giants of European football dream of adding him to their own.

His startling speed and control have made Sanchez lethal in the final third in Serie A, and he will look to reproduce this form on the international stage. This ex-River Plate star is no secret to South American defences; whether they can stop him though, is a different question entirely.


  • Best finish: Runner-up on 4 occasions (1955, 1956, 1979 & 1987).
  • Biggest victory: 7-0 vs. Venezuela, in the Copa América 1979. 
  • Worst defeat: 0-6 vs. Uruguay, in the Copa América 1947.


Although the Chileans adapted well to Marcelo Bielsa's 3-4-3, and gained great attacking potency, the emphasis on forward play is given more importance than ever under Claudio Borghi in a 4-4-2 set-up. The scheme has served 'El Bichi' well for years, and he will hope for similar success in his first competitive matches as Chile coach.

Ownership of the ball is emphasised under the current trainer, as is a rapid transition up the field- albeit with care taken not to leave the defence exposed. The order imposed by Ponce and Contreras, the midfield bite of Vidal and Medel, the creative genius of Valdivia and the firepower of Alexis Sanchez and 'Chupete' are the key pieces to the puzzle Borghi must put together to gain success in his native Argentina.


Position Age Club
Claudio Bravo
Goalkeeper 28
Real Sociedad (Spain)
Miguel Pinto
Goalkeeper 27 Atlas (Mexico)
Paulo Garces
Goalkeeper 27
Universidad Catolica
Waldo Ponce
Defender 28 Cruz Azul(Mexico)
Pablo Contreras
Defender 32 PAOK (Greece)
Gonzalo Jara
Defender 25 West Bromwich (England)
Gary Medel
Defender 23 Sevilla (Spain)
Mauricio Isla
Defender 22 Udinese (Italy)
Arturo Vidal
Defender 23
Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)
Gonzalo Fierro
Flamengo (Brazil)
Carlos Carmona
Midfield 24
Atalanta (Italy)
Marco Estrada
Midfield 27
Montpellier (France)
Felipe Gutiérrez
Midfield 21
Universidad Catolica
Rodrigo Millar
Midfield 29
Colo Colo
Jorge Valdivia
Midfield 27
Palmeiras (Brazil)
Luis Jimenez
Midfield 27 Cesena (Italy)
Matías Fernández
Midfield 24
Sporting Lisbon (Portugal)
Jean Beausejour
Midfield 26
Birmingham (England)
Francisco Silva
Midfield 25
Universidad Catolica
Alexis Sánchez
Forward 22
Udinese (Italy)
Humberto Suazo
Forward 29
Monterrey (Mexico)
Carlos Munoz
Forward 22
Santiago Wanderers
Esteban Paredes Forward 30
Colo Colo


Elías Figueroa: As well as being recognised by none other than Beckenbauer and Pele as one of the greatest ever central defenders, Don Elias is the eighth best South American player of the 20th Century, according to IFFHS. Figueroa was a brick wall at the back for Chile, who demanded attention for how he could cut an opposition attack with astonishing elegance and composure and start an attack from deep. The Penarol and Internacional icon played just one Copa America for Chile, in which they equalled their best finish of second place in 1979. He would sum up his ability as a defender with one famous phrase: "The area is my home. People only enter with my permission".

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Most Discussed
Top Scorers
Player Goals Penalties
Arturo Vidal Arturo Vidal
6 1
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
5 0
Edu Vargas Edu Vargas
5 0
Mati Fernández Mati Fernández
3 0
C. Aránguiz C. Aránguiz
2 0