Chilean Player Presentation: Attackers

7. Alexis Sánchez ****+

Date of Birth: 19 December, 1988 Height: 170 cm Weight: 62 kg Foot: Right Caps: 28 Goals: 11 Club: Udinese (Italy)

“El Niño Maravilla” (The Wonderkid) is one of the world’s greatest talents. He is only 21 years old but has proven to be a forceful goal scorer since a very young age. His splendid technique has always been there, but lately he has been building up his speed, stamina and strength which have now taken him to being a starting attacker at Serie A club Udinese. The world is watching Sánchez and there have been rumors of clubs wanting to spend big money on signing this kid. He has the ability to become one of the greatest, however, the next step he takes in his career will be determining for his future. Alexis comes to the World Cup with a great form, having scored in almost every game lately both in “La Roja” and in Udinese. He played 12 games in the qualifying round where he only scored 3 goals, but did balance good performances with bad ones. Sánchez will have to step up in the shadows of teammate Suazo’s injury which may leave him out of the first games.

9. Humberto Suazo ****

Date of Birth: 10 May, 1981 Height: 172 cm Weight: 76 kg Foot: Right Caps: 42 Goals: 18 Club: Monterrey (Mexico)

“Chupete” Suazo is the Chilean attacker that with his 10 goals became the top scorer in the South American qualification round. Suazo was besides Bravo, the Chilean player that played all 18 games for Chile. After scoring 52 goals for Colo-Colo in 2006, Suazo became a professional in Mexico when Monterrey bought him. There he top-scored in the Clausura 2008 and helped his team win the Apertura 2009, the same year he was voted best player in the Mexican league. In January 2010, he got the chance to play in Europe as Spanish team Real Zaragoza lent him for the rest of the season. Suazo had a success as he scored 6 times in 17 games. The price set for him from Monterrey has been too high for him to return to Zaragoza, but there are other European clubs lining up to get his signature. It will depend on how he plays in the World Cup. Suazo ended his season at Zaragoza injured. It was an injury at his right shoulder which kept him out of football for a month. It was a long enough absence to get yet another injury in his comeback game against Israel, this time a pulled hamstring which will probably take him out for the first game of the World Cup. His importance is vital for the team, because he is a true goal scorer and can score against great opponents, like two goals against Brazil in 2010.

11. Mark González ***

Date of Birth: 10 July, 1984 Height: 176 cm Weight: 74 kg Foot: Left Caps: 39 Goals: 3 Club: CSKA Moscow (Russia)

“Speedy” González is one of the world’s fastest players. He currently plays for Russian top team CSKA, and has represented other teams such as Liverpool and Real Betis. There is no doubt that he is a player of good quality, but has been stuck at the same level for some time now, he is known for being struck with injuries. Maybe a World Cup can help him develop his ability even more? González played 13 games in the qualifying round, but he did not score. The National team has not been blessed by his scoring, as he has only struck 3 times in 39 attempts. As consolation, he is sometimes used as a left winger. He will probably be a starting player at the World Cup.

15. Jean Beausejour ***

Date of Birth: 1 June, 1984 Height: 178 cm Weight: 81 kg Foot: Left Caps: 26 Goals: 1 Club: America (Mexico)

Beausejour is a left winger or attacker that plays in Mexico for team America (pun intended). He has played for several teams around Chile but has not until lately become good enough for the National team. Beausejour is fast and has good technique, which are good abilities for a winger. Bielsa knows what Beausejour can do, and he delivers almost always. He played 12 games in the qualifying round and he scored his first goal against Bolivia. His strength lies in his movement; he is a player that can brake up a tight defense with his constant movement. He is (by Chilean measures) tall and it is possible for him to score with headers, just as he did against Bolivia. A good World Cup can for Beausejour take him to a better deal in a European league, I am sure he is capable in doing good over here.

16. Fabian Orellana **

Date of Birth: 27 January, 1986 Height: 171 cm Weight: 68 kg Foot: Right Caps: 16 Goals: 2 Club: Udinese (Italy)

Fabian Orellana is an offensive midfielder, right winger or attacker that played last season for Spanish team Xerez. However, he was lent by Udinese where he will return to if no other club show their interest. Fabian is the young player that broke Chile’s curse when he scored for the first time against Argentina, a team which Chile had never beaten in a World Cup qualification round. Orellana had a difficult season at Xerez but could after a slow start play 26 games and he scored twice, however Orellana could not help Xerez to avoid relegation from La Liga. He has good technique and his centers are crucial, especially if they come from a free kick. Maybe Orellana is Bielsa’s secret weapon? He is probably not a starter, but a good candidate to an offensive substitute. With this rate, Orellana’s future looks bright.

22. Esteban Paredes **

Date of Birth: 1 August, 1980 Height: 177 cm Weight: 78 kg Foot: Right/Left Caps: 14 Goals: 6 Club: Colo-Colo

Esteban Paredes is a strong and natural goal scorer. He plays for Chilean giants Colo-Colo and is a regular starter there. He only played one game in the qualifying round, in the last game against Ecuador. He scored the only goal in the preparatory International friendly game against Northern Ireland. Paredes has a similar style to Suazo, and can be a starter in the absence of the latter, due to injury. Paredes’s 6 goals in 14 International games speaks for itself, he is an attacker of good quality, despite playing in the domestic league. His set pieces are deadly and his ability to use both feet are important inside of the penalty area.

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