MENDOZA - Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal
heaped praise on his team-mate Jorge Valdivia on Saturday,
saying he had made the difference after coming on as a
substitute in Friday's 1-1 draw with Uruguay at the Copa
Valdivia, known as "The Magician" in Chile, made his
entrance after an hour, with his side 1-0 down. Five minutes
later they equalised through Alexis Sanchez, and Valdivia was at
the heart of many of their best moves from then on.
"Jorge changed the rhythm when he came on. He's the one who
dictates the pace of the game and it was noticeable yesterday,"
Vidal said. "The goal that Alexis scored came from a ball from
Valdivia, who plays his club football at Palmeiras in
Brazil, is one of Chile's most gifted playmakers but has been
plagued by injuries, both at last year's World Cup and at this
He was sidelined for Chile's Copa America opener against
Mexico, but appeared to be back on form against Uruguay.
"I've been watching Valdivia since he was 17, 18," Chile
coach Claudio Borghi said on Friday night.
"He's an unusual player, sometimes he looks slow, even
though he's not, and he's got an ability to see moves that no
one else sees. He makes passes that are unique.
"Maybe it's because of that that there's so much admiration
for him in a football-crazy country like Brazil."
Borghi will have to decide whether to field Valdivia from
the start in Chile's final Group C match against Peru on
Tuesday. Matias Fernandez and Luis Jimenez are the other two
candidates for the playmaker's role just behind the forwards.
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