From being just one of the countries on the Group D2 of the Copa America’s league to ranking number 5 on FIFA’s list and now the defending champions of Copa America, Chile started out quite tough in this year’s tournament after losing out 2-1 to Argentina in their first match on Monday, June 6, 2016, at Levi’s stadium in Santa Clara. That was just the making of Juan Antonio Pizzi’s led team which has turned out to become the defending champion of the 100 years international continental football competition.
No doubt, the spotlight has remained on Claudio Bravo, Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal and maybe, Marcelo Diaz. However, there is no better time to meet the man that led Chile to the victory and the entire winning squad.
The country’s coach JUAN ANTONIO PIZZI was born in Argentina. He started out as a talented striker with Argentine club Rosario Central; later he join Mexico’s Toluca and eventually to Spain where he played with CD Tenerife and Barcelona. He ended his club career with Villarreal in 2002 and went into management, winning a 2010 Chilean Primera title with Universidad Catolica and the TorneoOficial championship in 2013 with San Lorenzo. After Pizzi returned to Spain with Valencia, he managed Club Leon in Mexico before taking up the post of Chile manager in January 2016. Amazingly, he is just 47 years old.
The three Goalkeepers were Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo, 33 years, Universidad de Chile’s Johnny Herrera, 34 years, and Universidad Católica’s Christopher Toselli.
On the Defence, those who made the squad were Colo-Colo’s Jean Beausejour, 32 years, Universidad Católica’s José Pedro Fuenzalida, 32 years, Marseille’s Mauricio Isla, 27 years, Universidad de Chile’s Gonzalo Jara, 29 years, Inter Milan’s Gary Medel, 27 years, São Paulo’s Eugenio Mena, 26 years, and Espanyol’s Enzo Roco.
The Midfielders were 27 years old Charles Aránguiz of Bayer Leverkusen, 28 years old Marcelo Díaz of Celta de Vigo, 30 years old Matías Fernández of Fiorentina, Pedro Pablo Hernández of Celta de Vigo, 29 years old Arturo Vidal of Bayern Munich, Erick Pulgar of Bologna and 30 years old Francisco Silva of Chiapas.
The Forwards included Nicolás Castillo of Universidad Católica, Fabián Orellana of Celta de Vigo, 32 years old Maurico Pinilla of Atalanta, Edson Puch of LDU Quito, 27 years old Alexis Sánchez of Arsenal, and the 25 years old man with the golden boot- Eduardo Vargas of Hoffenheim.
Seyifunmi Adebote for encomium.ng