Monday, September 25, 2023

He was the ‘substitute coach’ for La Roja against Colombia and reviewed a Medel controversy: “We don’t blame him for anything”

This Tuesday, La Roja has a new challenge for the Qualifiers. Starting at 9:30 p.m., Eduardo Berizzo’s team will receive Colombia in the Monumental and the mission is nothing but to win to leave behind the defeat against Uruguay in Montevideo. There, the National Team showed a very low level and lost 3-1.

Between Chile-Colombia, one of the most attractive duels could be animated by Gary Medel and James Rodríguez, who have already faced each other on many occasions, in Qualifiers, Copa América, Champions and Europa League.

In September 2012, for example, the defender and the midfielder starred in a scene that is remembered to this day. It happened in the first half of a Chile-Colombia (1-3) game in Macul, on the way to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and it all came from a struggle between two players.

Medel and James fell and the latter admitted a foul. However, the referee decided not to pay anything and the ‘Pitbull’, in his style, confronted the Colombian: “Stop, fart!” It was a moment that soon went viral.

Jaime Vera (60) led La Roja that afternoon, since Claudio Borghi was suspended, and this is how he remembers Medel’s action. “It’s his way of playing… He’s always been a temperamental football player and one who leaves everything on the field, so, in that sense, we’re not mocking him for anything, because he always gave himself 100,” ‘Pillo’ told AS.

The coach has only praise for Medel, despite the fact that in that game he was sent off for attacking Luis Amaranto Perea, now Colombia’s assistant: “I have very good memories of him. His personality and attitude kept him at an excellent level throughout his career. That is why he will always be a reference for La Roja.

“Leaders have a higher level than those who want to replace them”

-And how do you see the game this Tuesday? Can something be taken away?

– Whenever you play at home you get a good result and Chile should be strong in that situation. I believe that by taking points at home, one can qualify for the World Cup without any problems. In the previous Qualifiers, the National Team was close to going and did not perform well at home… One hopes that it will be more regular.

-What do you think of Eduardo Berizzo’s work?

– I have no doubts, because he is a coach who knows. What happens is that all the technicians are exposed to the results. If it’s good, it’s obviously a good evaluation, but if it’s not, it’s going to be evaluated negatively.

– Replacement is an issue…

– There are changes. There is the case of Aravena, Núñez, and Valdés, who in the previous Qualifications were not considered and now they are. That is the change that is happening slowly and slowly. One hopes that the results are in their favor, because they are good players.

– What is missing from the jump in quality?

– Missing a bit of depth, like Vidal did against Uruguay. He came in to continue long, fighting and important in the final third of the field. We need to be sharper there, where differences are made and games are won.

– Do you feel that the youth lack Vidal’s hunger?

– No, I don’t think so. They have the capability. What will happen is that Arturo and the players we all know, the references, will have a higher level than those who tried to replace them. That’s why they are still important to the National Team.

Jaime Vera is Claudio Borghi’s assistant at La Roja. ANDRES PINA/PHOTOSPORT
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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