Why Chile have earned at least one more supporter this summer

Chile have been one of the stand-out sides at the World Cup thus far, and Vincent Ralph will now be following their progress very carefully.

Chile impressed at the last World Cup in South Africa with their dynamic football and impressive attitude to the game.

But this summer they have taken that to a whole other level, with their outstanding work-rate coupled with some brilliant individual talent forging a side that could go far in Brazil.

Much has already been written about Arturo Vidal – whose box-to-box play and unfaltering energy against Spain were a joy to behold. Similarly, Alexis Sanchez has shone with a dazzling array of tricks coupled with a confidence that comes from a player who trains day-in-day-out at Barcelona.

But they are just two of the stars of an 11 man show, or more than that if you count the substitutes and the impressive coach Jorge Sampaoli.

Already through to the first knock-out round, Chile will want to avoid Brazil in the last-16 (the side who put them to the sword four years ago at the same stage) but in truth few sides would feel confident going up against this Chilean team who look like they know how good they are and have every intention of showing the rest of us.

At a time when England have slipped out of the tournament with barely a whimper, Chile have stamped their mark on it; and their final group game against the Netherlands looks like being one of the best of the competition.

So I am not ashamed to say that having seen the Three Lions falter even earlier than usual, I have become an avid follower of Chile for what remains of the competition.

After all, Sampaoli’s side play energetic, creative, exciting and passionate football – things I rarely saw from Roy Hodgson’s men.

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