PRETORIA - Chile's showdown with Brazil
on Monday for a place in the World Cup quarter-finals will
rekindle memories for one of their greatest ever players, Ivan
The former Real Madrid and Inter Milan striker played
against Brazil at the same stage of the tournament at the 1998
finals in France. The Brazilians won 4-1, Chile went home and
Zamorano never got to play in a World Cup again.
Twelve years later he is back as a television commentator
and thinks Marcelo Bielsa's side have a chance of avenging that
"I think Bielsa's boys are ready for anything," Zamorano
told Reuters. "It all comes down to one match now, and it
happened to me in France in 1998.
"We got to the last 16 and we faced Brazil at their best and
it all ended for us there but you can always dream of going as
far as possible."
Zamorano was part of a Chile squad that boasted two
outstanding strikers - himself and Marcelo Salas - but was
otherwise flawed. In contrast, the current squad has no big
names but is generally much stronger.
They finished second behind Brazil in the South American
qualifying campaign and scored 32 goals in the process, winning
a reputation for exciting football.
"We've got a good team," Zamorano said. "I think in general
we've offered something different.
"I think Bielsa has stamped the Bielsa philosophy on the
players and we've seen that reflected on the pitch. Chile are
not interested in defending, the only thing that concerns them
Zamorano, who scored 34 goals for Chile in 69 appearances,
said he was delighted to see South American teams doing so well
at the World Cup.
"They've nearly all finished top of their groups and they're
looking to play in a way that has something to do with the very
identity of South American football," he said. "In general
they've looked to take the game to the opposition."
He said his job as commentator was much more difficult than
playing football but was glad to be back at football's flagship
"It was an amazing thing to be able to play at the World Cup
in 1998 and now I'm enjoying it from the outside, and above all
I'm enjoying what Chile are doing."
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