Chile coach since 2007
Born in Argentina and coached his homeland at the 2002 World Cup. An innovator and avid, almost hermit-like student of the game who spends hours in front of his video player. He is the brother of Argentina’s former foreign minister. Rafael Bielsa.
Out for the rest of the league season with a knee injury but hoping to be fit for the World Cup. Named captain when striker Marcelo Salas retired, he has retained his place despite his club’s relegation to the Spanish second division. Scored his first goal with a free kick in February.
Called up to replace Cristopher Toselli who was not fully fit.
Universidad de Chile
Club captain nicknamed “Kryptonite” who was voted best keeper in South America last year in the official poll by Uruguayan daily El Pais. His international chances have not suffered from turning down a place in Chile’s 2007 Copa America squad as the third choice keeper. Suffers from an incurable skin disease that produces rashes or scabs.
Often called “Hulk”, he helped Chile finish third at the World Youth Cup in Canada in 2007 and was among the tournament’s best players, setting a record of 492 minutes unbeaten at a under-20 World Cup, surpassing Brazilian Claudio Taffarel. Voted best keeper when Chile won the Toulon under-23 tournament last year.
Oldest member of the squad who as a 21-year-old helped Monaco win the French league title in 2000 before being suspended for two years for holding a fake Italian passport and leaving France. Went on to play in Argentina, Spain and Portugal. Was one of six players banned for 20 matches, later reduced to 10, by Chile for indiscipline at 2007 Copa America.
28 caps 1 goal
Remains an important memember of the team, despite making a terrible mistake against Venezuela in the 2010 World Cup Qualifiers when he let the ball go though his legs in his and didn’t notice Juan Arango lurking behind him.
A forward in his junior years at Universidad Catolica, he became a deeper lying player, either in defence or midfield who can spring deceptively quickly in to attack, a tendency he has had to curb somewhat in Serie A. He moved to Italy without having played first division football in Chile.
West Bromwich Albion
Usually a central defender, he joined West Brom from Colo Colo last August for £1.4 million after an original deal for £3 million was scuppered. Has helped with West Brom’s push for promotion back to the Premier League. Captained Chile at the 2008 Toulon tournament .
As his nickname “Pitbull” suggests, he is a snapping ball-winner in midfield who has also played at full back. Joined Boca from Universidad Catolica in mid-2009 and cemented his place among the Argentine club’s idols with a two-goal performance against arch-rivals River Plate in the March “Superclasico”.
A versatile player who can play in central defence or on the flank and in midfield, good going forward and with free kicks. Helped Velez Sarsfield win the Argentine Clausura championship, though he was not a regular starter, last July before returning home to Chile in January to enhance his World Cup chances.
A versatile defender with a strong attacking penchant who has scored several league goals for Colo Colo and Bayer Leverkusen, whom he joined for a Chilean record $11 million in 2007, and one in 21 appearances for Chile, a header in the 2-2 draw with Venezuela in Santiago.
Defensive midfielder who captained Chile to third place at his second World Youth Cup in Canada in 2007. Moved to Serie A from O’Higgins in 2008.
Universidad de Chile
A skilled player with good ball control and a powerful shot who is one of several regulars who won the confidence of Marcelo Bielsa with their performances in two successive away qualifiers against Bolivia and Venezuela in June 2008 which Chile won and are regarded as a watershed in the Argentine coach’s tenure.
Nicknamed “Pelusa” (fluff) after Diego Maradona, the Buenos Aires-born also referred to as “Matigol” is Chile’s most skilled playmaker in the classic number 10 mould. Voted South America’s Player of the Year in 2006 before moving to Europe, first to Villarreal, where he has struggled.
Nicknamed “Little clown”, he broke into the big time at Colo Colo and with the national team late in his career after seven years with Huachipato in the south-central Bio-Bio region hit by the recent earthquake. A move to Israel’s FC Ashdod in 2008 fell through so he spent past of the year on loan to Colombia’s Once Caldas.
First capped at 17, Sanchez was snapped up by Udinese as a teenager with Cobreloa, his first club, in 2006 but farmed out to Colo Colo and then River Plate in Argentina, winning league titles with both sides, before settling in Serie A in 2008.
35 goals 3 caps
In 2009, Tello scored from long range to help Besiktas beat Manchester United 1–0, the first time in eight years the English side had lost at home at that stage of the competition.
“The Magician” has impressed at all his clubs with his ball skills, notably when he joined Palmeiras in Brazil from Colo Colo in 2006. He moved on to the United Arab Emirates to play for Al-Ain in 2008 but that has not cut him off from the Chile team.
Born to a Haitian father and nicknamed “Frenchman”, the winger has played in Switzerland, Brazil and Belgium before fetching up in Mexico with America after two years back home with Cobreloa and O’Higgins.
18 caps 1 goal
Known as “El Joven Pistolero”, which means the young sniper, due to the accuracy of his shots.
Born in Durban, South Africa, where his Chilean international father Raul played, “Speedy Gonzalez” earned his nickname for his lightning speed on the left wing, his favoured position. He was part of the Liverpool squad when the English club were Champions league runners-up in 2007.
The player nicknamed “the poet” scored a significant debut goal for Chile. It gave Bielsa’s side a 1-0 win over Argentina, Chile’s first win over their neighbours in a competitive match. Argentina’s defeat led to Alfio Basile’s resignation as coach and the appointment of Diego Maradona in his place.
After two caps in 2006, he has cemented a place in Bielsa’s squad as a good alternative to Suazo at centre forward, having had an impressive 2009 Clausura championship for Colo Colo, who won the title in December.
Top scorer in the South American qualifying series with 10 goals, “Lollipop Suazo” is the established leader of the Chile attack. A slow starter, he made his first big impression scoring 40 goals for San Luis Quillota in the third division in 2003. He moved abroad from Colo Colo in 2007 and helped Monterrey win the Mexican Apertura title last December.