Chile looking dangerous

COACH:Marcelo Bielsa. One of the world's most intriguing coaches, the introverted and eccentric Bielsa is credited with taking a group of low-profile players to the World Cup.

COACH:Marcelo Bielsa. One of the world's most intriguing coaches, the introverted and eccentric Bielsa is credited with taking a group of low-profile players to the World Cup.

Despite shunning the limelight, the meticulous, studious Argentine has become a national hero in Chile where he was initially greeted with scepticism because of his high salary.

Bielsa was previously coach of his own country's national team for six years, which included their disastrous campaign at the 2002 World Cup and a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics.

KEY PLAYERS:

lHumberto Suazo (Monterrey). Age 28. Forward.

The shaven-headed striker has a prolific scoring rate, including 10 in Chile's World Cup qualifying campaign, making him the leading scorer in the South American group.

lArturo Vidal (Bayer Leverkusen). Age 22. Midfielder.

A versatile player who can hold his own in defence or midfield, Vidal is one of the country's most promising footballers.

lMatias Fernandez (Sporting Lisbon). Age 23. Midfielder.

Fernandez pulls the strings in midfield. Born in Argentina, his family moved to Colo Colo, Chile, where he scored some astonishing goals during his three seasons in the pro side. He is now at Sporting Lisbon.

How they qualified:

Chile finished second in the 10-team South American group, one point behind Brazil. The highlight of their 18-match campaign was a 1-0 win over Argentina, their first ever against their neighbours in a competitive game. Two of their four defeats came against Brazil while they had home and away wins over Colombia and Peru.

Prospects:

With players based in the Spanish and English second tiers, Greece, Turkey, Mexico and at home, Chile's squad does not immediately instil fear. But Bielsa has hand-picked gifted players who can carry out his demanding attacking style and moulded them into South America's most attractive team.

After a recent 2-1 win in Slovakia, the rival coach compared their style to Barcelona and described them as "magnificent". - Reuters

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