A Chilean Reinassance

Messi

Now it is official with the back-to-back Copa America title,Chile is South America’s new football superpower and finally has gotten out of the shadow of Brazil and Argentina which were the continents football superpowers for decades,but with Brazil in  a deep state of crisis which threatens their appearance in the World Cup in Russia which will be less in two years,while Argentina besides that is number one in the FIFA World Rankings has lost its 7th final in a row and the AFA has been controlled by FIFA until a new leadership is found,with the defeat in the Copa America Centenario Leo Messi announced that he decided to quit international football.In those circumstances Chile took over as South America’s best national side and it has one of the best generations in decades.But it wasn’t like that prior to winning their first Copa America on their own soil,La Roja never won the Copa America and their best results in the competition came in the 1955 (hosted for a 3rd time and lost the final against Argentina),1956 (lost the final against Uruguay),1979 (lost the final against Paraguay) and 1987 (lost the final against Argentina).Now it is Chile’s turn to dominate in the continent and that isn’t a coincidence because of Chile’s golden generation starting with FC Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo who for a second Copa America in a row has been named as tournaments Best Goalkeeper while being a random starter in the club,the defence anchors with the names of Mauricio Isla and Gary Medel who play for Marseille and Inter Milan with Fuenzalida and Beausejour from Chile’s biggest clubs Colo-Colo and Univerisidad Catholica,while the midfield is loaded with the duo from Celta Vigo Pablo Hernandez and Marcelo Diaz together with the Bundesliga duo of Charles Aranguiz who plays in Bayer Leverkusen and most notably Arturo Vidal who plays a critical role in Bayern Munich,the attack is led by Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez who in partnership Eduardo Vargas is scoring goals for the La Roja.What strated with Marcelo Bielsa in 2007 after Chile missed its 2nd consecutive World Cup but brought them back in the world stage after 12 years with the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa continued with Jorge Sampaoli who brought Chile the 1st Copa America title last year and now with Juan Antonio Pizzi which brought the 2nd Copa America title and next year Chile is going to the FIFA Cofederations Cup where they can show to the world their golden generation and use it as a launchpad for bigger results in the World Cup since in Brazil were eliminated in penalty shootouts by the hosts.But there wasn’t for Chile always like that.Their best result in the World Cup was in 1962 when they were the hosts of the tournament and finished in 3rd place when they defeated Yugoslavia for the 3rd place match which was a generation with Leonel Sanchez who is the club legend of Universidad De Chile and who is the father of current Arsenal and La Roja striker Alexis Sanchez,in decades later La Roja followed by controversy,for the 1974 FIFA World Cup in West Germany,La Roja was scheduled to play the USSR in the intercontinental playoffs and with Augustin Pinochet as the leader of the country the whole match became a controversy from the start.Besides that the 1st leg in Moscow ended in a 0-0 draw the 2nd leg back in Chile was cancelled since the Soviets refused to play the match and they were disqualified from the tournament giving Chile a walkoff victory besides that in Western Germany,La Roja was eliminated in the group stage.Another controversy but with serious consequences for the La Roja came for the qualifiers for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy where during the match with Brazil when goalkeeper Roberto Rojas faked an injury by a firework thrown from the stands and the video evidence proved it which meant that Chile was banned in the South American qualifiers for the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA,while Rojas himself was banned from football for life besides his ban was lifted in 2001.Chile’s only appearance in the FIFA World Cup prior to South Africa was in 1998 in France were the attacking duo of Marcelo Salas and Ivan Zamorano carried the La Roja through the qualifiers and in France,Chile made the 2nd round where Brazil easily defeated 4-1 and that was the last until South Africa which was six years ago,but in Brazil,the LA Roja shocked the world by defeating Spain and ending their hopes of defeding their World Cup title and sent Spain out of the World Cup.But winning the Copa America was a major success for Chile and now repeating in the USA a historical achievement for the La Roja which is looking to make a huge splash in the World Cup in Russia and to make one of the biggest achievement of the La Roja’s golden generation.

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