After a stuttering start to their qualifying campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Chile qualified for the tournament off the back of a barnstorming finish that saw them win five of their last six matches. The catalyst has been boss Jorge Sampaoli, who took over nine matches into Chile’s campaign, and who has returned the side to the brand of football that thrilled the public under former coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Sampaoli’s football philosophy remains heavily influenced by his fellow Argentine. “The most important thing was picking up from where Bielsa had left off in the previous qualifying campaign,” he said. “The players still had their mindset from that period stored somewhere, and the fact they saw a FIFA World Cup place slipping away from them made things a touch easier.”

The system favoured by Sampaoli is a very fluid and attacking one with the formation often fluctuating between 1 3-4-3 and 4-3-3. They will relentlessly press their opponents all over the pitch. Marcelo Diaz is the fulcrum in midfield while the performances of Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal will be key to Chile’s chances. With the tournament hosted in nearby Brazil, public expectations are naturally high and, despite being drawn in one of the tougher groups, there is hope that Chile can go far.

COACH >>

JORGE SAMPAOLI

The Argentine, who has previously coached in Peru, Ecuador and Chile, built his reputation on the South American continent by winning three consecutive league titles with Club Universidad de Chile. He also guided them to the 2011 Copa Sudamericana tile and the semi-finals of the 2012 Copa Libertadores.

Fixtures Group B

Australia
Cuiaba 14 June 2014

Spain
Rio de Janeiro 19 June 2014

Netherlands
San Paulo 24 June 2014

*Dates are AEST

Tournament history
Previous tournaments: 8

2010 FIFA World Cup performance
Round of 16

Best performance
Third place, 1962

How they qualified
Third, South American group