Growing up we all remember our first World Cup. Well we should. And mine was France ’98. Michael Owen’s goal, Dennis Bergkamp’s better goal, Ronaldo and Zizou. As a sprightly nine-year-old I was entered in a World Cup sweepstake with the chance of £32. A lot of money for a nine-year-old. Heck a lot of money for me now! Out of the hat I was drawn Brazil.
The giddy excitement of drawing the most famous name in football; those bright yellow shirts, with the young bucked-tooth striker and assorted talents leading me to victory. Zinidine Zidane had other plans. I have still not forgiven the French master for sending me to bed with tears in my eyes. But ultimately Brazil had let me down.
Yet nostalgia allows me to remember another South American nation, one in which Brazil put to the sword en route to the Paris final; Chile.
The red Reebok strip with its white flashes and blue shorts adorned by two great goal scorers; Marcelo Salas and Ivan Zamarano. One of the truly great international strike partnerships with both going on to enjoy varying degrees of success in Serie A.
In more recent times Chile have re-entered the national scene with a strong showing under ‘El Loco’ Marcelo Bielsa at the World Cup in South Africa where another exit to Brazil failed to destroy the positive feeling towards the side as they played an expansive, high-tempo style in what was a low scoring and slow paced World Cup. The positivity was taken into the Copa America in Argentina where they again were the team to watch, unfortunately getting beat by Venezuela at the quarter-final stage.
The Chilean player has become a popular acquisition in Europe with the latest national team squad containing no fewer than 12 players plying their trade in the Continent. Serie A alone provides six including the energetic duo of Mauricio Isla and Arturo Vidal.
And it is because of this that I have decided to start a Chilean football website providing coverage of the domestic game, national team and Chilean’s abroad.
For a nation that is currently one of the best in the world – latest FIFA world rankings (at the time of writing) put them at 14th – coverage of the game in the South American country is sparse.
As a recent journalism graduate with considerable time on my hands I hope to provide extensive coverage while going back to university to undertake a part-time Spanish language course, with the hope the two will be mutually beneficial.
To begin with content may be ‘standard’ but hopefully as my Spanish improves and I become more accustomed to the league, its team, formations and players the quality will pick up.
Wow that is quite an introduction with not one mention of Mauricio Pinilla. Don’t worry that will soon be rectified. Again. And Again.
I hope you enjoy the site and that I do the league justice in my coverage.
I would like to thank Sam Kelly of http://hastaelgolsiempre.com/ fame, Cecilia Lagos and http://vivalarojamierda.wordpress.com/‘s Neil Zimmerman for their advice and encouragement as I pestered them with e-mail after e-mail. Thanks to them I know my backside from my elbow.