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No side has ever won the Copa America on three consecutive occasions and Chile will be looking to make history in Brazil. Although with an ageing side this could be a major ask for manager Reinaldo Rueda.
It’s been safe to say that Chile has enjoyed a golden age in recent years winning the previous two editions of the Copa America defeating Argentina on penalties in both the 2015 and 2016 finals. However, La Roja was brought back down to earth with a bump following their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The question now remains, can Chile bounce back and go all the way to seal a third straight continental crown.
Chile will have to hit the ground running at the Copa America as they take on Asian Cup finalists Japan followed with group games against Ecuador and Uruguay. Providing La Roja can get some positive results in the opening two games they should progress to the knockout phase.
The Coach – Reinaldo Rueda
Colombian tactician Reinaldo Rueda is no stranger to the international game having managed Ecuador, Honduras and his native Colombia at national and U-20 level. The 62-year-old has a wealth of experience and it will be needed if Chile is to make history.
Rueda’s biggest achievement to date was guiding Honduras to the 2010 World Cup for only their second time ever. Now the pressure will be on the veteran coach to maintain the hunger of an already successful Chile side, full of ageing players to win another continental crown.
Player to Watch - Arturo Vidal
Can midfielder battler Arturo Vidal go again and make history with La Roja with a third straight Copa? The Barcelona player won an eighth consecutive league title this season, to continue a remarkable winning streak of league titles with Juventus, Bayern Munich and now Barca. Vidal may be on the wrong side of 30, but has always given his all for his national side and been a key figure in their recent dominance at international level alongside Alexis Sanchez.
Vidal has been a regular presence in the Barcelona side this season and played a part in 33 league games this season, often sitting in a midfield three. Vidal is likely to be pushed further forward, and his influence and experience will be a vital asset for his county if Chile is to manage the mythical threepeat.