Chile Prepares for Bolivia Match in Calama
CALAMA – The Chilean national side, La Roja, have begun preparations for the altitude they will face in Bolivia by training in the city of Calama in the north of Chile, close to San Pedro de Atacama. The altitude in countries such as Bolivia and Ecuador has always caused trouble for visiting teams, so coach Claudio Borghi has made sure the team will be sufficiently prepared. Bolivia are yet to win a game in the qualification process, but held Argentina to a 1-1 draw.
Six players from Universidad de Chile were already in Calama on the weekend, they played the first leg of the quarter final clash against Cobreloa, winning 2-0, featuring an incredible Chilena (overhead kick) from Matías Rodríguez.
Cobreloa was the starting club for two stars of the Chilean lineup. Alexis Sánchez debuted for the club at 15, while Eduardo Vargas also made his professional debut in the mining city. Sánchez is now a regular starter for Barcelona, while Vargas starred in Universidad de Chile’s incredible 2011 and was subsequently signed by Napoli.
At a press conference this morning, coach Claudio Borghi admitted he was unable to name the squad that will take the field in La Paz on Saturday, but mentioned that the midfield would be, “From right to left Vidal, Diaz, Medel and Mena”.
“El Bichi” also took the time to thank the people of Calama and the Cobreloa club for their assistance in holding the camp. This afternoon the squad held a closed session against the Cobreloa youth team.
The coach was also asked by the press about the comments of Marcelo Salas, who claimed the current squad at Universidad de Chile could beat the 1991 Colo Colo side, the only Chilean team to win the Copa Libertadores. The former Colo Colo coach dismissed the comparison as “nonsense”.
Borghi presided over one of the most succesful sides at Colo Colo in recent memory, a side that included Alexis Sánchez, Matías Fernández, Arturo Vidal and Humberto Suazo. They finished runner up in the Copa Sudamericana in 2006.
Chile will look for victory when they go to Bolivia. The results of the away clashes against Bolivia and Venezuela will play a key role in Chile’s qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014.