BBC BLOGS - Tim Vickery
« Previous | Main | Next »

Earthquake tragedy hits Chilean Cup preparations

Post categories:

Tim Vickery | 11:00 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

This week is the last for international friendies before the end of the season. It's the final chance for fringe players to push their claims for a World Cup place.

Chile thought they had found the perfect way to give all their players the opportunity to show their stuff with a double-header on Wednesday against Costa Rica and North Korea, one after the other.

But then the country was struck by Saturday's massive earthquake and amid the chaos and confusion the matches could clearly not go ahead. The Uruguayan FA made a swift and noble offer to stage the games in Montevideo, so Chile's preparations for the World Cup would not be disturbed, but Chile decided that calling off the friendlies was the only appropriate step.

This is eerily reminiscent of 50 years ago, when Chile was preparing to stage the 1962 World Cup. On 22 May 1960 the country was hit by the biggest earthquake registered at that time, thousands died and millions were left homeless. It seemed inconceivable that a World Cup could be held there just two years later, but somehow the show went on.

Italy v Switzeralnd , 1962 World CupChile managed to stage the 1962 World Cup just two years after a previous earthquake - pic: Getty

Chile had been awarded the competition in 1956 despite a strong challenge from rival bidder Argentina.

Accounts usually stress the oratory of Chile's Carlos Dittborn, who at the time was president of the South American Federation. "Because we have nothing," he famously said, "we want to do everything."

It became the slogan of that World Cup and perhaps even helped ensure that Chile kept the competition in spite of the ravages of the earthquake. As head of the local organising committee, Dittborn worked day and night to ensure that the event could take place but then died of a heart attack a month before the kick-off.

Changes had to be made - southern cities which had borne the brunt of the earthquake were too busy rebuilding to stage games and so, only four venues were used.

Some may feel the World Cup should not have gone ahead, that all of Chile's energies should have been spent on more pragmatic priorities. It is a respectable point of view, but it can also be argued that the event fulfilled a deep psychological need for a life-affirming celebration - especially as, with Lionel Sanchez leading the charge, the Chilean team exceeded expectations by finishing third.

The idea that the 1962 World Cup could in some way 'compensate' for the earthquake is clearly foolish and lacking in all sense of proportion. It couldn't bring back the many who died - the investment could help repair shattered buildings, but not shattered lives.

But the human being is a social animal and football - and especially international football - possesses an extraordinary power, a capacity for collective emotion and celebration unmatched in modern society.

The World Cup highlights this force at its most concentrated level. As the camera pans down a line of players during their national anthem, the faces on show are those of ordinary people, rather than the elite who meet in politics or diplomacy. The World Cup is like a United Nations General Assembly for the average Joe.

From Accra to Santiago, the man or woman in the street feels represented by the presence of his team at the World Cup - and when they win, with the whole planet watching, it is indeed reason for a party.

Chile needed the World Cup in 1962, and they need it now. Some good displays from Marcelo Bielsa's men in South Africa will give the whole country a lift, and if neutrals are looking for another reason to cheer on the Chileans this June and July, how about this tribute from Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino?

"The team in South America that is playing the best and proposing something different is Chile," he said a few months ago. "They have players with good technique, they play attractive football, get a lot of men forward into attacking positions, and look to attack in the cold, in the heat, at altitude, at sea level, at home, away..."

And surely in South Africa as well.

Comments on the piece in the space provided. Questions on South American football to vickerycolumn@hotmail.com, and I'll pick out a couple for next week.

From last week's postbag:

Q) I know that it is difficult to try and anticipate who is going to make Maradona's squad for the World Cup, never mind trying to anticipate the first XI. However, I was wondering if it looks like he will be selecting Benfica's Ángel Di María for South Africa and if so, what are the Dí María's chances of a place in the starting line-up?
Conor McCann

A) Maradona has had a look at so many players that your doubts are understandable. But in this case he's been very clear. He's a huge Di Maria fan, brought him straight into the squad and talked him up as the next likely Argentine superstar. He was only missing when he was suspended. Injuries aside, there seems no doubt that he's going to South Africa, and not just to make up the numbers. He'll play, either as a starter or as an impact sub.

Which of the two might depend on the shape of the team. With a back four, for example, I think he'll play left side of midfield. But if Maradona goes with a back three it will be more difficult to start him, because you couldn't see him carrying out the defensive responsibilities of a left wing-back.

Q) After watching Inter Milan v Chelsea the other night I am wondering why Milito, Zanetti and Samuel are not part of the Argentine starting line-up, especially seeing as they have a problem with a figure to spearhead the attack and their defence has been suspect for a while.
Ben Green

A) Samuel has just been recalled to the squad for Wednesday's game against Germany. Diego Milito is in as well. He's a mystery to me - every time I see him for Argentina he looks so ordinary, and I wonder how he scores all those goals in Italy. Higuain of Real Madrid has emerged as the spearhead, so Milito is fighting for a squad position.

Zanetti? If Maradona does go with a back four he might well be forced to recall him. Argentina are so light at full-back that there's not a lot else around. Clemente Rodriguez, who has been called up, is certainly not the solution, and Angeleri is only just coming back from injury, so Zanetti shouldn't give up hope just yet.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Good blog Tim, lets hope that the World Cup can help Chile in some way get over the devastating natural disaster they've just experienced. The recent film Invictus is a fine example of the ways in which sport can bring a nation together and give it a sense of hope.

    As a Roma fan I can't wait to see Pizarro bossing the midfield!

  • Comment number 2.

    Good article as usual.

    I'm really looking forward to watching some of the teams at the world cup. Chile are an example of a team that should be really exciting going forward and there's a lot of teams in there that most fans will not have seen play before (myself included).

    I can't wait to see what North Korea's games are like to be honest...

  • Comment number 3.

    Does Dunga have something against Pato? I know he got injured yesterday but why was is he not called up??

    No disrespect to Nilmar but Pato is on another level. I don't think he's been called up since the Confederations Cup, surely he will be selected for the World Cup??

  • Comment number 4.

    I understand the sentiment of what your saying Tim and I feel sorry for all those Chileans affected by the earthquake, but I am not right in saying the 62 World Cup was the dirtiest ever with players frequently committing GBH on each other? I know the current side seem aren't like that but I'm sure it was the 62 world cup where the BBC sports presenter apologised before 'highlights' of Chile v Italy were shown?

    With what happened last time Chile held the competition and the current nature of non tackling game their is no way in hell it will be held their! Also, and this might seem incredibly insensitive, but we can't go down the route of awarding international tournaments (WC, Olympics etc) to countries that have had natural disasters

  • Comment number 5.

    Another excellent article Tim.

    Chile are one of the teams I am really looking forward to seeing at the world cup. I truly hope they can put this tragedy behind them and prepare for the upcoming tournament, as from a neutral perspective I have been very curious if they could translate their excellent form in qualifying into a fine performance at the world cup.

  • Comment number 6.

    Interesting choice of photograph above - I wonder if that challenge warranted a booking all those years ago?

    In terms of the World Cup being the representation of the Average Joe's, sadly Tim I have to disagree. Today's players are so far removed from their average Joe upbringing that nobody can relate to them. This may just be the case with the England squad, consisiting of pampered superstars. I hope so.

    My example? When Wayne "Once a blue always a blue" Rooney antagonised Everton fans by kissing his Man Utd badge last year he displayed a persona that completely went against his upbringing as a fierce Evertonian from a Liverpool council estate.

    Even the Togolese Adebayor showed that a far more extreme rags to riches story has been forgotten when he slid on his knees in fron of the Gooners at Eastlands.

    When I saw Stuart Pearce, a former tradesman proudly donning his International jersey I got the feeling that he represented the hopes of your Average Joe. When I see people with the attitude of John Terry at the world cup, it will all be lost on me.

  • Comment number 7.

    The article overdoes the shades of purple in places, but the basic reasoning is sound enough. Sport, in particular football, does have the capacity to unite nations, within and without. It is a pity that FIFA and the regional bodies, such as UEFA, are not more democratically-based - then possibly the glory (and the cash) might get spread around a bit more equally.

    One of the things about Chile in 1962 was that there were far fewer nations involved than will be going to South Africa. It would be a logistical nightmare to organise any multi-nation event (sporting or political) in 2010 with less than a year to prepare.

  • Comment number 8.

    Great blog as usual Tim,

    Terrible what has happened in Chile, thoughts and prayers go out to them.

    I was wondering about the future of Brazilian full-backs. In Maicon and Alves they have probably the two best right-backs in the world. However I was wondering if there is any obvious younger talent, both there and at left back... Or are they pinning future hopes on the Man Utd twins?

  • Comment number 9.

    Tim, Diego Milito is an excellent striker. He's a superb finisher in the penalty box and what he also has in his favour is that he's not just a poacher, he works very hard and runs the channels. He was prolific at Zaragoza, Genoa and now Inter so he has proved that he can do it in different environments.

    I think the issue with Milito is that Argentina have a lot of strikers who are very similar to him: Tevez, Higuain, Lisandro Lopez, etc. Argentina are blessed with talent in this position and Milito has probably never caught the eye for Argentina because he's never had a run of games in the centre forward role as their main striker.

  • Comment number 10.

    3. At 12:41pm on 01 Mar 2010, gunner-zp - Rosický Returns (again)! Believe in Bendtner wrote:
    Does Dunga have something against Pato? I know he got injured yesterday but why was is he not called up??

    No disrespect to Nilmar but Pato is on another level. I don't think he's been called up since the Confederations Cup, surely he will be selected for the World Cup??
    ----------------------
    Pato is injured. Will miss 2nd leg at OT next week.

  • Comment number 11.

    #9 Subterranean

    The point Tim is making my friend is that Higuain will not be ousted at this point. His record for bothe real and Argentina over the last 12 months is superb, he WILL lead their line in '10 barring an injury. Milito is a player I rate too but he will be the 2nd choice as the central striker. Tevez will operate as a more withdrawn member of the 3 pronged attack with Messi on the left of this. Kun Aguero has a lot to do to get in and has no real claim for a place at the moment. Di Maria will play further back then Messi but probably will play too. Lisandro will be lucky to feature at all, and rightly so

  • Comment number 12.

    Hosting and just going won't have the same effect, I am not sure what the end of this piece was. I understand the view you are putting forward but sorry to say it does sound a bit trite. I live in an Earthquake zone I watched the images from Chile and having just explained to my son that we were lucky not to get the storms that lashed the rest of the country, I also had to explain that we could suffer an earthquake at anytime.
    Yes it would be great if chile could do well. But will they really?

  • Comment number 13.

    @4davidwheaterschin

    "(...) but I am not right in saying the 62 World Cup was the dirtiest ever with players frequently committing GBH on each other?(...)
    With what happened last time Chile held the competition and the current nature of non tackling game their is no way in hell it will be held their!"

    You seem to be implying that those awful tackles happened because the World Cup was held in Chile, which is ridiculous.
    They happened because that's the way they used to play. It was like that in 58 when Jonquet left the semi-final against Brazil with a broken leg, and it was like that in 66 when Pele got chopped every opportunity the opposing team had.

  • Comment number 14.

    I will never know why zanetti was ever dropped from the argentina squad.

    As far as i'm concerned he's the greatest ever right back, and should be treated with the same respect that the italians gave to maldini.

    To be consistently good for such a long time is an amazing achievement.

  • Comment number 15.

    @13foolrulez

    I've just realised how that reads and I wasn't meant to imply that.

    What I meant was with what's just happened in Chile and the 62 WC being remembered as the dirtiest ever, there's no way FIFA would hold it there. I know football was more of a 'man's' game fifty - sixty years ago but it would reflect badly on FIFA and its sponsors if they held a tournament in a location that would currently fail miserably.

    As an above post says, the '62 WC had far less teams than the 32 team tournament which we have now. And lets be honest, we all know that both FIFA and their sponsors pick the next tournament location for revenue purposes and they aren't going to risk their image on arguably the biggest global sporting event which would fail if it was to be held in Chile.

  • Comment number 16.

    @4 - There is already an precedent for this; 1986 in Mexico which experienced an earthquake 10 months before the start of the tournament.

    Also Chile's WC preparations don't seem to be going too well. Didn't their friendly against Germany get canceled due to the death of Robert Enke? And Tim, Chile have needed this World Cup for ages! Let alone due to the this terrible earthquake. I think an entire generation in those 12 barren years have needed a World Cup since the Salas and Zamarano generation have departed. I generally do think what might have been had they been allowed to compete in 1994. After 1998, they seemed to take one step forward but about eight back. What this World Cup will hopefully do, is attempt to cement an attitude of the ability to compete at successive World Cups. I think its as much as what they do in the next World Cup as it is in this one.

  • Comment number 17.

    In reply to post 14 by gripperrocks:

    Zanetti was at his peak a very good player but greatest ever right back?! Think Cafu and Thuram may have something to say about that!

    Milito, average player, nothing more than that. Argentina will not win the World Cup.

    Agree with post 2, will be fantastic to see some of the less known about teams this summer, North Korea will be fascinating. Any danger of the BBC covering some of these teams on the build up?

    Lets hope the Chileans can provide a smile or two for their nation at this summer's World Cup

  • Comment number 18.

    Chile plays very attractive football indeed, they are always fun to watch.

    But they shouldn't go far in the WC because their defense is too weak, and this explains why they have been trashed by Brazil for many years now every time they play.

  • Comment number 19.

    @4 - Where exactly has it been implied that the World Cup should be in Chile? Tim is just saying that the nation deserves their team to do well - not that they should host the torunament!!

  • Comment number 20.

    @19 - I just realised that myself!

  • Comment number 21.

    Chile need to and should recall Marcelo Salas to their World Cup squad. Just like Romani with Hagi in Euro 2000. Cameroon with Milla in 94, Maradona with ARgentina in 94, this cpuntry still ahs their greatest ever player at a playable age and therefore should do everything to get him in that squad and help him drag the lads through. A spearhead, and Inspiration, a leader.

  • Comment number 22.

    #4 davidwheaterschin

    You've completely missed the point. Glad you revisited your opinions, because dirty WC and granting international tournaments to disasters-stricken nations had nothing to do with Chile nor the article.

    Regarding the interesting Argentinian strikers discussion, Milito must go. Purely because of his form. He might not be a starter because the others show good form, but he must be on the bench. I strongly advocate the idea that the majority of bench players must be form ones because they can carry that into the tournament. Unless Maradona takes 5 forwards, the door seems to be shut for Aguero. Which seems funny, since he's Maradona's son-in-law!
    I think El Pibe will take them 5. Interesting to notice how well the Argie forwads are faring. We've been arguing how unorganised the team and the defense are, but with proper training period, this forward line can be devastating!

  • Comment number 23.

    # 4 davidwheaterschin

    Fair play then son!!

  • Comment number 24.

    Regarding Di María, I think he has a great chance of starting the games in the first XI for Argentina.
    I am a Benfica fan and have seen him getting better and better as the season progresses, the hat trick over the weekend against Leixoes confirms that. Could have had 5 goals in that game if the linesman hadn't disallowed a perfectly onside play, and later on a one-on-one with the keeper where he tried to chip him but was a good save in the end.
    He is an exciting player and it will be a shame to see him leave us in the summer (going to be difficult to keep him at this rate, with a plethora of rich clubs after him.)
    You can see his hat-trick from the weekend here :-)

  • Comment number 25.

    21 - salas has retired. And the side are not lacking goals - humberto suazo was top scorer in south america's qualification campaign.

    If elias figueroa was 35 years younger, that would be a different story! chile can't currently count on anyone with his defensive class.

  • Comment number 26.

    1 - and david pizarro is very unlikely to be bossing the midfield in south africa. He gave up on international football some time ago, and played no part in the qualification campaign. And with Mati Fernandez and Jorge Valdivia (Pedro Morales as well) they're fine for attacking midfielders.

  • Comment number 27.

    22 - would you leave out aguero, argentina's top scorer in qualifiying?

    I think Milito has a fight on his hands. Higuain will go, and Maradona said recently that Martin Palermo is 80% certain. A third number 9? Milito has never done in big games for Argentina - didn't score in qualification, wasted chances v Brazil...

    So perhaps he eeds a good game against germany to press his claims.

  • Comment number 28.

    Whoooops! As soon as I wrote that I got the old nagging doubt in the back of the mind - "Hang on, hasn't he retired...?

  • Comment number 29.

    I have no doubt that most Chileans continue to look forward to the World Cup. People who have to endure tragedy need things to look forward to at least as much as anyone else.

    As a Chile fan (I have close Chilean friends) I'd say the chances are good that Chile's attacking style will be their undoing--but I give them credit for it anyway, am looking forward to their games, and hope I'm wrong. It is fair to say that they're bringing something new to the table, and if it works, it will be copied. In any case, it will make their games exciting, which won't be true games involving teams that try to eke out a goalless draw.

    And of course, my heart goes out to the victims of the earthquake.

  • Comment number 30.

    Hi Tim

    will Carlos Villanueva be heading to the world cup. He never really got going for blackburn when he was with us but looked talented. I know hes in the middle east now will he be with the chile squad at the world cup?

  • Comment number 31.

    #27 - Tim Vickery

    It is a tricky one, but it's hard to overlook a form player during the WC season. Milito has been sensational at late, scoring loads in Serie A and seemed quite at ease against Terry in the CL. The other Argie forwards are also in great form (bar Aguero), but they are all tiny. Milito is the only tall, Crespo/Batistuta mode striker. And he has to be in better form than Palermo. Palermo is 35 or so, he was on top of his game when he missed 3 pens in...1999!
    Since they have crap fullbacks, I'd take 3 of them and 5 forwards.

    Tim,
    Since Di Maria has been mentioned, what are the odds for the other Benfica lost boys? Conejito Saviola and Aimar?
    Saviola seems a massive outsider, but Aimar has to feature, especially since there's no Riquelme...

  • Comment number 32.

    Just a quick question about the Argentina right back situation.

    Will Zabaleta from Man City get looked at? Admittedly, I've not seen too much of him but he's looked decent at times.

  • Comment number 33.

    31 - I think Aimar has lost out to Pastore - and Saviola seems to far down the queue - remember there's Lavezzi of Napoli as well, who Maradona likes a lot.

    30 - I think the only way that villanueva could get back in for Chile is if there are a lot of injuries - he's been out of the picture for ages.

  • Comment number 34.

    #33

    Oh yeah, there's Lavezzi....Argentina has quite a rich and vast array of attackers to choose from! How come they were certainly deemed to be average at most during the qualifiers?
    To me, it seems a pity and a waste that Maradona will lead this bunch. They would have been much better under Bianchi. Or even Loco Bielsa, who would get a high tempo running game that would suit Messi...

  • Comment number 35.

    Tim, so you reckon Pastore has a chance of going to SA? He has been superb at Palermo, after overcoming the initial 'settling in' period. Such an elegant player, quite in comparison to many attacking midfielders today. One of the few players who gets you out of your seat.

    PS: Same question re Ronaldinho

    I understand that he is not ideal for Dunga's system but, on form alone, he's got to go. His understanding with Pato is near telepathic, reminiscent of his 'partnership' with Eto'o during their Barca heyday.

  • Comment number 36.

    pastore's in with a great chance - impressed and scored a cracker v catalonia in december. a good showing v germany this week should seal his squad place.

    ronaldinho? time will tell whether his exclusion is a cruel to be kind policy, or if dunga has decided to do without him.

  • Comment number 37.

    Fuerza Chile!they are going to have a very dificult time getting the country going again but are an organized people.among the missing are 3 young Argentine players in Concepcion.
    As for Argentinas attack it seems Maradona will take 6 from Messi,Kun,Higuain,Palermo,Milito Teves and lavezzi.In a poll in Argentinas sports daily OLE as to who should be the center forward Higuain got 49% of the vote,Palermo 21%,Teves 16%,Messi 11% and Kun a mere 2%

  • Comment number 38.

    Speaking of Di Maria
    The addition of Pastore's passing game in Argentina's Midfield is a great boost. Maradona should have also tested Banega's infleunce in the midfield against Germany. It is wasted opportunity. Banega's performance against Brugge was massive.
    Argentina may have found the missing piece.
    Pastore and Banega would do Argentina what Barca's Xavi and Carlos Martin's Benfica do for Messi and Di Maria at the club level: provide quick and long passes. Everyone knows what Messi has done with Xavi's DHL passes last year. The same is happening at Benfica with Carlos Martins and Di Maria. In the last three games Di Maria has scored four times and had two crucial assists. The only difference I can think of is Martin's DHL delivery for the fastest player in the world right now.
    Pastore is the same mold as Carlos Martins. He can provide long DHL passes to both Messi and Di Maria. He has a great passing vision. Also Banega's excellent vision and tremendous passing will make argentina attack the best in the world, even better than Spain come June.
    Banega is the best Midfielder right now. He is the closest player to Redondo right now.

  • Comment number 39.

    Banega may be the best in Europe but the central midfield will be Mascherano and Veron unless they are injured.It appears the starting 11 v Germany will be
    Andujar,Otamendi,Demichelis,Samuel,Heintze;Gutierrez,Veron,Mascherano,De Maria;Higuain,Messi.

  • Comment number 40.

    Ronaldinho is another interesting topic.
    Tim, you know that the journos over here in Brazil are applying some massive pressure on Dunga to call him up. From pamphleteering spur-of-the-moment reporters to respect figures like Tostão, virtually everyone has made a case towards him.
    Sometimes the press hyperbolic enlarges his play, saying he's been brilliant when he actually had 3 or 4 flashes during the match.
    Neverthless, the supply isn't as great as 10 years ago (Rivaldo, Leonardo, Djalminha, Alex Cabeção). As much as I agree on Baptista's call up (he's got balls. I respect that), I believe Ronaldinho should be included because there's a dearth of natural skill on the side and without Kaka there's no spark.
    Plus Ronaldinho's form and continuity has warrant his inclusion.

    After all this ramble, what do you think? Do you also believe his form is worth the call up?

  • Comment number 41.

    April fool's day yet? Gutierrez plays ahead of Pastore in such a crucial experiment? Gutierrez will bring the whole house down. He would neutralize Messi and Di Maria speed and effectiveness not to mention the upfront guys. All the passes on the right wing would be waste of possession. If Guti plays right Messi would come in the middle the same qualification shit is repeated. Veron's slowness would make traffic in the midfield impossible. Wing guys would be waiting someone to feed the same with upfront people.

    You can't have Veron and Gutierrez in the same team. One has no game the other is old. It is the last chance for Maradona to show he learned something from all the things he was doing last year.

  • Comment number 42.

    25 - what if...Salas had been around (at his best) for this team...he would've scored a lot more goals than Suazo did. Suazo is not bad but he misses so many chances, a bit like Hernan Crespo but more skillful, almost annoying to see how so many chances go begging.
    Sure, it would be great to have a great defense and keeper too but I'd rather see Chile playing as they do now than go back to the bad old days of playing ultra-defensive football away from home, hoping on some lucky counterattack, at least now they'll die with their boots on, so to speak, and hopefully provide us with entertainment value which is sorely lacking in football these days. I guess in the end it comes down to Bielsa taking the approach that attack is the best form of defense.

  • Comment number 43.

    Well done Tim. Good blog as usual. Regarding Argentina.. Surely they have a chance with Messi, Tevez and Higuan as a front 3 with Milito on the bench. Cambiasso and Mascerano in the middle too are solid. If Maxi can find form at liverpool, there is the midfield. But the defence is a mystery to me.. Who are the best back 4 and goalie in your opinion?

  • Comment number 44.

    My best wishes to the country of Chile as she bounces back from a very difficult period in their history.

    Tim, something else about sports in general and football in particular, it acts as a very capable distraction plus providing a carthatic outlet for our natural, pent up aggressions; a release. Focus on world cup preparation might be just what the Chilean doctor ordered.

    On the playing front, Zanetti's versatility is the stuff of footballing legend, with the Nerazurri having played on both flanks, in the middle (central midfield) and as a winger. However, at 36 he's no spring chicken and Argentina could well be undone by a highly mobile team.

    Are there alternatives to Zanetti? One of the easiest names in my recall is Liverpool's Emiliano Insua. The youngster has work rate, discipline, mobility and good crossing ability. This season has seen him score against Arsenal, a cracker from his left foot. I can't see how a football colossus like Argentina can lack able defenders, able to both defend their goal and join in a very rich offensive lineup.

    The simplest explanation of why the likes of Walter Samuel don't shine much for their national teams is the caliber of players who surround them in their club. How would England have fared internationally if they played like Man U or any of the big four? Rooney, Gerrard, Joe Cole or Walcott are surrounded by a crew of international gifteds, able to create magic from nothing in an instance. The sum total of such talent vastly outweighs what each individual can do.

    [Back to the Albiceste] It mystifies me that Argentina can barely scrape through world cup qualifying with the playing riches at their disposal. Look at their midfield onwards, with Mascherano, Maxi Rodriguez, Cambiasso, Tevez, Samuel, Negredo and Messi. Add the likes of offensive minded solid defenders like Insua and you have a portent mix of a team, a dream team if you please.

    Their problem might boil down to their head coach, but even that looks simplistic going by his technical bench and consultants available to guide Maradona.

  • Comment number 45.

    Hi Tim,

    i play amputee football for england & man united, just wondered if you new anything about it, Brazil are one of the major players & were supposed to be holding the tournament last year but pulled out. This year it's supposed to be held in Argentina, can you shed any light

    cheers

  • Comment number 46.

    Excellent piece Tim,

    It really is a shame for the Chileans at the moment and hopefully they can recover fully in teh next few months.

    But on a brighter note, they should light-up the WC with their swashbuckling style of play.

    Just think of a Chile side appearing at WC2010 consisting of a younger Elias Figueroa extorting in defence, Jose Luis Sierra dictating midfield play and the striking talents of Ivan Zamorano and Marcelos Salas leading the line - it would be unbelievable.

    Look forward to next week's article.

    Best regards,
    TDT
    www.thedirtytackle.blogspot.com
    www.manonplatform13.blogspot.com

  • Comment number 47.

    - Sierra sucked in the 1998 WC (was too unfit by then). So he scored 1 goal and was good in free kicks, but he was slow. Chile made a big mistake in playing him instead of Estay who was in his best form and much better. The best games of Chile was with Estay in the field.

    - Unfortunately, the Chilean Pizarro who plays in Italy, and a great player most likely will not go. He got into a fight with the Chilean federation like in 2007 and has not been called since then. Very similar to what happened with the Peruvian Pizarro who also got into a fight with the federation and was not called again since 2007, and is scoring goals like crazy in Germany.

    - Palermo is going to the WC, he scores all the time for Argentina. Maradona already called him magical. The only way he is not going is he gets injured. If not he is in. Milito might go if Maradona takes several forwards but players like Sabiola, Crespo, Lisandro, Zarate, are not going.

    - WC 62 dirty? it is funny I always thought it was England 66 the worst WC. To this day, what up with the English and the rough game?, look at Arsenal a broken player per year, my god imagine if Kaka would have gone to England. No wonder poor Owens is all messed up. Not much love for skills in the UK, let's see how much more Tevez can take. Well, in the WC as long as FIFA stays out (no crooked referees helping the big teams and the locals with last minute penalties, or ridiculous handballs or off sides or other crap the referrers do to tilt the field I am happy).

    - Ronaldinho is most likely out toos

  • Comment number 48.

    How is Ronaldos form for Corinthians. What are his chances of making Brazils World Cup squad?

  • Comment number 49.

    I have just watched Brazil dismantle and exhaust a decent Ireland team albeit missing both centre backs. If this is what they are going to do in the world cup to teams of premership quality then the trophy is already theirs.

  • Comment number 50.

    Pato is injured. Will miss 2nd leg at OT next week.
    ----------------
    i know he's injured but i'm pretty sure the squad was announced before that game.

    Tim, surely Pato will the make the World Cup squad?

  • Comment number 51.

    @49
    I wouldn't think that Brazil beating Ireland would qualify as the yardstick to judge their chances to win the world cup. Ireland is not a top team and even failed to make it to the world cup, and it's only a friendly after all, the main purpose is to try strategies, although being Brazil, they're supposed to win every game anyway.
    Not sure what "premiership quality" means, do you mean EPL quality? because that applies to clubs not national teams.
    In any case, based on their performance through the qualifiers and the depth of their footballing riches, Brazil are indeed the favourites to win the WC.

  • Comment number 52.

    @47
    Not only Sierra was slow, the whole chilean team was slow. It's only recently that Chile plays a more uptempo football attacking all the time.

    About Pizarro, maybe you've seen more of him than I have but he seems to always play purposeless balls to the side, and seeing him for Roma in the Europa Cup simply confirmed that view for me. He wasn't part of the qualifiers, no big loss in my opinion.

    Yep, 1966 was at least as bad as 1962, if not worse. Amazing to see Pele (and Brazil) getting literally kicked out of the tournament with the refs turning a blind eye, but you won't hear the english media say anything bad about 1966, except for the english commentators making mention of 1966 and England every 5 minutes during the WC. And talking about refs turning a blind eye, how about THAT goal in the final... ;)

    Ronaldinho... he wasted his chance to become one of the greats.

  • Comment number 53.

    YES! Tim answered my question, thanks Tim. Milito is a bit of mystery to me too, but maybe he's 1 of those players who ends being a great club player but international level doesn't suit him as well.

  • Comment number 54.

    I always thought that the main reason for the '62 world cup having a reputation as dirty was the Chile v Italy game, the battle of santiago as it is known, it's worth watching the highlights to see just how out of hand it became as the players ended up swinging punches at each other.

    Regarding Chile's chances in South Africa, it'd be wonderful if they can progress as they have a group of skilful young players who play thrilling high tempo football. A lot will depend on the form of Matias Fernandez (as he seems to be preferred to Valdivia), and Chupete Suazo staying fit as he is the one player for whom there is no adequate replacement in the squad.

    My thoughts go out to everyone affected by the earthquake and I hope the recovery progresses well. Fuerza Chile!

  • Comment number 55.

    I just watched Argentina beat Germany 1-0 with a brilliant move from Di Maria to Higuan. I really believe that Messi, Higuan, Di Maria and Tavez should gang up on Guiterezz for the sake of their role in the team. They should tell Maradona straight that he leave Guti out. Putting aside Di Maria's two briliant moves today, the best four players in Argentina attacking have been marginal at best in a system where Guti is running circles and Veron slows the midfield to the most predictable form possible.

    Messi, Tavez, Higuan, Di Maria have all been marginal becuase Argentina's midfield is slow and predictable. If Maradona wants to keep Veron he should leave Guti out and bring Banega in. 4-3-3 should do it

    Otamendi... Dimiche.... Samuel.... Rodrigez
    ....Veron..... Mascherano......Banega
    ....Messi.......Higuan........Di Maria

    Argentina defense was solid today. They have sorted it out. It is the midfield that is clogged by Gutierez and Veron. This combination is making Messi look ordinary. By the time Veron passes to Messi the entire defense is hovering over Fifa's best player. All the balls that is played into right, Guti, are lost cuz Guti has no attacking game.

    I just don't believe Messi and Tavez would put up with this shit.

  • Comment number 56.

    Superb, the very reason I've been reading this column all these years can be summed up by this one article. Thanks Tim - keep it coming!

  • Comment number 57.

    Failure with Riquelme failure with Aimar failure with Veron its not La Brujita who should be on the bench but the little imp from Barca who doesnt fit in to any Argentine seleccion at least so far
    With Teves,Aguero,Lavezzi evwen Defederico waiting Messis place is up fro grabs
    the defence were ok Veron and De Maria excellent and Higuain does his job an improvement but its along road bring on KUN

  • Comment number 58.

    Moreno

    The issue with Argentina is very simple now. You need to have a quicker midfield than Veron and Gutierez. It is not Messi alone who is not being utilized properly. Tavez played 35 minutes and he didn't make any impact; Higuan apart from the goal had normal game. Even Di Maria had three or four touches though he used superbly.

    The problem is that the ball isn't coming off the midfield fast enough for Messi, Di Maria,and Taves to take advantage of their excellent dribbling and pace. Veron and Guti are resposible for this. If Maradona decides to keep Veron Messi could be moved right, Banega or Pastore can supply Di Maria on the left, messi on the right or Higuan directly. This way you have less predictable offense.

    Maradona has 7 man defense which is crazy: the 4 defenders + Mascherano + Veron + Guti.

  • Comment number 59.

    Tim

    Can you help? Im trying to get a soundbite of the famous sound effect when Brazil scored in the 1970 world cup.
    You know the one that goes "whit-woo BRASIL"

    Can you help? Stupid question i know.

  • Comment number 60.



    Good blog Tim.

    Chilean people will certainly re-emerge from the recent set back. They did it 50 years ago. Let's wish the people of Chile a fine and successful world cup campaign in South Africa..

  • Comment number 61.

    The moment the user makes its way into their own website name and squeezes the actual switch, they'll have the ability to start writing for their own site. It became apparent which that even if making use of a simple installer like Fantastico, there have been still quite the few steps in order to getting Wordpress installed and operating with our style. Therefore we made a decision to use a [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] pared-back hosting alternative that enables us to install these things with regard to individuals instead. One much less location to get tripped upward :)

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    Chile is one of many great football country, even they never win a world cup. Thank you for your post. Very Glad that you shared this to us. It's some pretty great info. Valuable information I found, keep on posting.

  • Comment number 66.

    What a poor Chile, but Chile now is having a better football team. This is a great post, thanks to you I got this information. I appreciate your work, thanks for taking this opportunity to discuss this, the post is really helpful and it have so many new valuable things to learn. Thanks for sharing this article. Pretty good post.

  • Comment number 67.

    Chilean Marcelo Salas needs and remind your team for the World Cup. As for Hagi Roma in Europe 2000. Cameroon, with Milla at 94, Maradona with Argentina 94, cpuntry AHS still the highest player in the history of age to play, so you should do everything to make this team and help to slip through the boys. A spearhead and inspiration, a leader. home equity loans

  • Comment number 68.

    now in indonesia there was an eartquake, eruption and flood ..
    However the football competition still running.. because football is spirit for indonesia.

    thanks

    Home Mortgage Refinancing Rate

  • Comment number 69.

    Honestly, I wasn't born yet at that time. But how poor Chile. So sorry to hear this. Hope Chile will be better for the next football preparation. I like this very much. This is my great pleasure to visit your website and to enjoy your excellent post here. Thank you for sharing with us. I can feel that you spend much attention for this articles, as all of them make sense and are very useful for us.

  • Comment number 70.

    Chilean Marcelo Salas needs and remind your team for the World Cup. As for Hagi Roma in Europe 2000. Cameroon, with Milla at 94, Maradona with Argentina 94, cpuntry AHS still the highest player in the history of age to play, so you should do everything to make this team and help to slip through the boys.
    Online post graduate certificate
    Online post graduate diploma
    Online undergraduate certificate

  • Comment number 71.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 72.

    Thanks for sharing this information.
    Online Schools

  • Comment number 73.

    I can feel that you spend much attention for this articles, as all of them make sense and are very useful for us. buy world of warcraft

  • Comment number 74.

    Very Glad that you shared this to us. It's some pretty great info. Valuable information I found, keep on posting. itunes gift card

  • Comment number 75.

    In terms of the World Cup being the representation of the Average Joe's, sadly Tim I have to disagree. Today's players are so far removed from their average Joe upbringing that nobody can relate to them. This may just be the case with the England squad, consisiting of pampered superstars. I hope so. My example? When Wayne "Once a blue always a blue" Rooney antagonised Everton fans by kissing his Man Utd badge last year he displayed a persona that completely went against his upbringing as a fierce Evertonian from a Liverpool council estate. Rent a car in bucuresti | Auto de inchiriat

  • Comment number 76.

    Very Glad that you shared this to us. It's some pretty great info. Valuable information I found, keep on posting
    New York DWI Attorney

  • Comment number 77.

    Very Glad that you shared this to us. It's some pretty great info. Valuable information I found, keep on posting
    New York DWI Attorney

  • Comment number 78.

    Thanks for sharing this information.
    NY DWI Lawyer

  • Comment number 79.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 80.

    Chile need to and should recall Marcelo Salas to their World Cup squad. Just like Romani with Hagi in Euro 2000. Cameroon with Milla in 94, Maradona with ARgentina in 94, this cpuntry still ahs their greatest ever player at a playable age and therefore should do everything to get him in that squad and help him drag the lads through. A spearhead film streaming, and Inspiration, a leader.

  • Comment number 81.

    Traurig, denn Chile hat es wirklich verdient. War auch bei uns im Fernsehen zu sehen, BBC via Satellit.

  • Comment number 82.

    The Chilean team did as well as can be expected of them reaching the second round. Unfortunately they were halted in the second round by the mighty Brazil. Better luck next time, I am sure that they put a smile on the Chilean nation in their games against Honduras and Switzerland.

  • Comment number 83.


    Finally, an issue that I am passionate about. I have looked for information of this caliber for the last several hours. Your site is greatly appreciated. Car Insurance

  • Comment number 84.

    This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article. Car Insurance

  • Comment number 85.

    great site hgh supplements

  • Comment number 86.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 87.

    not fully porno izle conversant with Penarol's rich erotik history in Uruguyan football but, a player I do remember seeing a fair bit of them mid nineties as a bleary indir eyed teenager watching full South American football in porno seyret the early hours and Pablo Bengoechea was a fantastic midfielder if I recall, yeşilçam pornosu I would have loved to see him in Europe. I just diyarbakır evden eve nakliyat wondered what role if any he has in ligtv izle football right n

  • Comment number 88.

    I liked the site a lot.By reading the blog my mind's doubts are now clear.Its an awesome site with lots of information.One must read this site.
    diet solution program

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    In terms of the World Cup being the representation of the Average Joe's, sadly Tim I have to disagree. Today's players are so far removed from their average Joe upbringing that nobody can relate to them. This may just be the case with the England squad, consisiting of pampered superstars. I hope so. work onlinemake money from homepayday loansbest payday loans..

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 92.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 93.

    Really sorry for this tragedy, i hope this will not happen soon, again. Is shame that an earthquake can intrerupt World Cup. by bluze dama

  • Comment number 94.

    Substantially, the article is in reality the sweetest on this precious topic. I harmonise with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your upcoming updates. Saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the phenomenal clarity in your writing. I will directly grab your rss feed to stay abreast of any updates. Pleasant work and much success in your business efforts! IRS Tax Attorney

  • Comment number 95.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 96.

    Chilean Marcelo Salas needs and remind your workforce for the World Cup. As for Hagi Roma in Europe 2000. Cameroon, with Milla at ninety four, Maradona with Argentina ninety four, cpuntry AHS nonetheless the very best participant in the history of age to play, so it is best to do every little thing to make this staff and assist to slip via the boys. A spearhead and inspiration, a pacesetter
    financial advice

  • Comment number 97.

    Great stuff from you, man. Ive read your stuff before and youre simply too awesome. I love what youve acquired here, love what youre saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you continue to handle to keep it smart. I cant wait to read more from you. That is really an important weblog
    foreign currency exchange

  • Comment number 98.

    As a Chile fan (I've shut Chilean buddies) I might say the possibilities are good that Chile's attacking model will be their undoing--but I give them credit score for it anyway, am wanting forward to their games, and hope I am wrong. It is fair to say that they are bringing something new to the table, and if it really works, it will likely be copied. In any case, it is going to make their games exciting, which will not be true games involving groups that try to eke out a goalless draw.
    art education

  • Comment number 99.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 100.

 

Page 1 of 2

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.