Chilean Player Presentation: Midfielders

6. Carlos Carmona **+

Date of Birth: 21 February, 1987 Height: 179 cm Weight: 70 kg Foot: Right Caps: 20 Goals: 0 Club: Reggina (Italy)

Carlos Carmona is despite his young age an experienced player in “La Roja”, having played 20 games. He was also the captain of the successful Under 20 team that came in third place in the Under 20 Championship in Canada 2007. Carmona has for two seasons played regularly for Italian Serie B club Reggina, however with no luck of scoring, either in his professional club or at the National team. Carmona is a defensive midfielder and can play at the right side, either as a midfielder or as a defender as well. He played in the start of the qualifying round for 11 games and has the team record of top cards, 6 yellow. Carlos also played in the preparatory International friendly games where Chile beat Israel and Zambia, both times by 3-0.

8. Arturo Vidal ***+

Date of Birth: 22 May, 1987 Height: 180 cm Weight: 74 kg Foot: Right Caps: 23 Goals: 1 Club: Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)

Arturo Vidal is a personal favorite in the Chilean midfield. He is underestimated when speaking about the team’s strength. Vidal is one of Leverkusen’s most important players having played constantly from start in during his three seasons there. Leverkusen is a top-team in the German Bundesliga. In a contrast to Sanchez or Suazo’s importance to their teams who struggled in the bottom of their leagues. Mati Fernandez has struggled since he came to Europe to take a starting place. Rodrigo Tello and David Pizarro (despite his absence in this World Cup) are the only players that have the same important part in a top team in Europe as Vidal. Vidal is strong, fast and has a stamina that is out of this world. His weakness is that he can sometimes become unfocused and is given a yellow card in every other game; in a World Cup this can be devastating. Vidal was Chile’s top scorer in the Under 20 Championship in 2007. Vidal played 11 games in the qualifying round scoring his only goal against Venezuela. His position is defensive midfielder or a full back.

10. Jorge Valdivia ***+

Date of Birth: 19 October, 1983 Height: 173 cm Weight: 71 kg Foot: Right Caps: 39 Goals: 4 Club: Al-Ain (United Arab Emirates)

“El Mago” (The magician) is the Chilean nr 10 in a classical way. His offensive skills are masterly but he surely lacks much defensive play and stamina. Valdivia competes with Matí Fernández for the creative part of the team. He is despite of his age, one of the most experienced players in the team. Valdivia went from Colo-Colo to become a success in Brazilian team Palmeiras for two seasons. Last year he was surprisingly bought by Arab team Al-Ain despite having European interest. He surely went for the Oil-money and it cost him personal development, due to poor matching. He has been playing a lot lately in the National team and has done great every time he is substituted (for Matí Fernández). However, he is not a 90’ minute man yet. Valdivia played only 6 games in the qualifying round and scored once against Colombia. Just as Contreras, Valdivia was in the notorious squad that was banned after a disciplinary act which cost him 10 games. Due to Matí Fernández currently poor form, Valdivia is the one that must put on a show in every game if Chile wants to survive Group H.

13. Marco Estrada **

Date of Birth: 28 May, 1983 Height: 177 cm Weight: 75 kg Foot: Left Caps: 22 Goals: 1 Club: HSC Montpellier (France)

Marco Estrada is a midfielder from Universidad de Chile, who recently was bought by French team HSC Montpellier. He played an important part of the qualifying team where he played 9 games in the midfield, where there is much competition. Estrada scored his only National goal against Bolivia, but what a goal from the left-footed Chilean. He will hopefully be a player that will be of quiet importance.

14. Matías Fernández ****

Date of Birth: 15 May, 1986 Height: 176 cm Weight: 75 kg Foot: Right Caps: 37 Goals: 7 Club: Sporting Lisbon (Portugal)

“Matigol” is the Chilean wonderkid that usually represent the Chilean team to the rest of the world. He has scored 7 goals in “La Roja”, 4 of them came in the qualifying round where he was prominent along with Bravo and Suazo. Matí’s success at Colo-Colo in 2006 earned him an award as South American Player of the Year. He was rapidly bought to Spanish club Villarreal where Matí never could settle. Last year he signed to Portuguese top club Sporting Lisbon, where the whole team had an awful season. Matí is the young star with the creative skills as nr 10, where he competes with Valdivia. If Matí has a good day, not many world-class defenders can stop him. FIFA writes; “His closest compatriots on the field of play are Sanchez and Suazo, with whom he has developed a near-telepathic understanding”. His largest weakness has developed after his award for South American Player of the Year, where Matí has too much pressure on himself. He is sometimes invisible in the field and can make rookie-mistakes in one game, and on the contrary play as a god the following week. A good World Cup by Matí could bring him back to the highest scene in no time.

19. Gonzalo Fierro **+

Date of Birth: 21 March, 1983 Height: 171 cm Weight: 71 kg Foot: Right Caps: 18 Goals: 1 Club: Flamengo (Brazil)

Right-midfielder Fierro is a short, speedy player that for the last two seasons has played for Brazilian top-team Flamengo. He has only played 4 games in the qualifying round, but is always a hard working player that took him to the final 23 that made the World Cup. He may not play as a starter, but is good to have in games where the game is concentrated to the wings. Fierro can also play as an attacker, which is his original position.

20. Rodrigo Millar *+

Date of Birth: 3 November, 1981 Height: 183 cm Weight: 75 kg Foot: Right Caps: 21 Goals: 1 Club: Colo-Colo

Millar is one of the oldest players in this young team, and also one of the few domestic players. He is the one with probably the least experiences of big games. He has been in and out of the National team, although brought back in the final games and took his chance which got him to the final 23. He is not a goal scorer unless it is against Venezuela, in one of his 6 games in the qualifying round. Millar will not play from start, unless there are injuries on the other right midfielders in the team. But with hard work and loyalty, he can definitely come in and score in important games. He is also one of the tallest player of the team, which can be useful at set pieces.

21. Rodrigo Tello ***+

Date of Birth: 14 October, 1979 Height: 170 cm Weight: 68 kg Foot: Left Caps: 34 Goals: 3 Club: Besiktas (Turkey)

“Grandpa” Tello is along with Contreras the oldest players in “La Roja”. He has lots of experience of top football in Europe, which probably got him the place in the final 23. Tello only played one game in the qualifying round, as a substitute for Matí Fernández against Peru in March 2009. He plays in Turkish top club Besiktas where they often play in the Champions League tournament. I will always remember his goal against Manchester United in 2009. Tello is left-footed so it means that he in the competition for the left winger spot. It will be a bit difficult for him to be a starter due to the fact that he has not played much with the team. Tello is undoubtfully a hard working player that is able to run up and down for 90+ minutes.

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