In our Chile preview, we look ahead to Chile’s opportunity to win back-to-back Copa America tournaments as well as previewing the squad, predicting how well they’ll do and sharing the squad and schedule information.
Manager: Juan Antonio Pizzi
Captain: Claudio Bravo
Chile preview: Squad:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Claudio Bravo (Barcelona, ESP), Johnny Herrera (Universidad de Chile, CHI), Christopher Toselli (Universidad Católica, CHI)
DEFENDERS (7): Jean Beausejour (Colo-Colo, CHI), Paulo Díaz (San Lorenzo, ARG), José Pedro Fuenzalida (Universidad Católica, CHI), Mauricio Isla (Marseille, FRA), Gonzalo Jara (Universidad de Chile, CHI), Gary Medel (Inter Milan, ITA), Eugenio Mena (São Paulo, BRA), Enzo Roco (Espanyol, ESP)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Charles Aránguiz (Bayer Leverkusen, GER), Marcelo Díaz (Celta de Vigo, ESP), Mark González (Sport Recife, BRA), Pedro Pablo Hernández (Celta de Vigo, ESP), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich, GER), Erick Pulgar (Bologna, ITA), Francisco Silva (Chiapas, MEX)
FORWARDS (6): Nicolás Castillo (Universidad Católica, CHI), Fabián Orellana (Celta de Vigo, ESP), Maurico Pinilla (Atalanta, ITA), Edson Puch (LDU Quito, ECU), Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal, ENG), Eduardo Vargas (Hoffenheim, GER)
Chile preview: Overview:
The reigning champions will be a little frustrated they can’t enjoy that mantle for a few more years after securing their maiden major honour last summer. However, this determined group of footballers will be desperate to show they have the traits to defend this title away from home.
Chile were superb in the 2015 tournament, as Jorge Sampaoli’s vision of a team playing attractive, intense and effective football came to fruition in full. Their win in the final against Argentina, after Alexis Sanchez’s decisive penalty, sparked scenes of joy across this fanatical football nation. They should be buoyed coming into this competition wearing the champions tag.
There have been changes since that memorable triumph, the most crucial being a different manager. Pizzi has taken over from the popular Sampaoli, who left the position to take on new challenges. But the new man hasn’t altered too much from the successful formula instilled by his predecessor, with few big surprises in his preliminary squad.
Nevertheless, retaining this title is going to be a huge challenge. While La Roja are a team capable of adapting their style of play for different opponents and settings, their stunning support was a massive asset in 2015, boosting the men in red and intimidating opponents. Plenty of fans will travel to the States for this one, but it won’t carry quite the same clout.