The firm hand of Berizzo

Eduardo Berizzo announced the list of soccer players who play abroad for the friendlies against Morocco and Qatar. The national squad will be presented in Barcelona on Friday September 23 and then on Tuesday 27 in Vienna. The main fact is that it is the first full call of the new DT of Chile. Previously he directed the tour of Asia, but the Argentine had assumed the position with the payroll already made by the national sports management.

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The doubts by Bravo

From back to front in the possible formation of the team, the main novelty is the absence of Claudio Bravo and, on the other hand, the return of Gabriel Arias to the national goal. What happened with the historic captain of the Red has a handle, since he was only able to debut in the Europa League, as a result of the administrative problems of Betis to make his registration official. However, during last season in Spain, he fully lived up to expectations in a team that was among the best in the league.

There are those who already visualize the end of Bravo’s stage in the National Team, due to this absence. The arguments are plausible, because at the start of the next Qualifiers, the two-time champion of America will be around 40 years old and a possible qualification for the next World Cup would find him at 44 years old. Clearly an insurmountable obstacle.

The ambient sensation is that Berizzo bets on Arias as the perfect replacement for Bravo. The Racing de Avellaneda goalkeeper overcame a cruciate ligament rupture, a few weeks ago he returned to the starting line-up in Argentina and has been one of the good figures since he returned to competitive activity. It would be, more than anything, a decision of the DT thinking about the coming years of the Red and not so much focused on the present.

Delgado, the surprise

In the defensive line, the panorama was expected like this. The anchor men in the center of the defense will be Guillermo Maripán, Paulo Díaz and Francisco Sierralta, plus the addition of Válber Huerta, who is showing a good presence at Toluca in Mexico. Probably, the lack of activity in Palmeiras conspired so that Benjamin Kuscevic was on the payroll, but he is a man Berizzo surely has in mind. The inclusion of Nayel Mehssatou It is not surprising: he responded on the tour of Asia, he is a starter in the Belgian league and, as well as acting as a right back, he can also be a valid option in the midfield role.

Precisely in this position another surprise on the payroll also appears: the call from Juan Delgado. The former attacker from Colo Colo became a right back or lane player at Paços Ferreira in Portugal. He is currently starting his second season in Europe and is the undisputed starter for his team. He can play on the right side of a four-man defence, or move up to midfield if his cast lines up with a trio of centre-backs. Without a clear picture regarding the situation of Mauricio Isla, the former white man, like Mehssatou, is today one of the alternatives that Berizzo evaluates as a replacement.

Thumb Backrest

In midfield, the call for Diego Valdés and Felipe Méndez did not go unnoticed, as well as the call for Erick Pulgar. Valdés lives one of his best moments in Mexican soccer and he does it, neither more nor less, than in América, the biggest club in the Aztec league. The local press there has begun to mention the possibility of the Chilean emigrating to Europe soon. Mendez? He begins to win the starting job at CSKA Moscow, after an unexpected transfer to Russia in the middle of the war with Ukraine. With his nomination, it is clear that he is to Berizzo’s football taste.

Another unexpected name in the flyer zone is Erick Pulgar. The Flamengo midfielder has only now been able to play a few minutes of competitive football and was also removed from the tour of Asia that marked the debut of the DT on the Red bench. The impression is that Berizzo sees him as number one in the central midfield position and immediately incorporated him into his process, regardless of what happened before. He came from an irregular end of the season in Turkey and also from weeks of uncertainty without a club until joining the cast of Rio de Janeiro.

return a promise

An exclusive fact sets the tone in the offensive zone. It is the appearance of Ángelo Henríquez, who shows signs of football recovery in the Polish league. The center-forward achieved the title in the Miedz Legnica and adds four goals. It could be a turning point in the trajectory of the former University of Chile, after previous bad experiences. He is just 28 years old and, in the absence of options in the axis of the attack, it seems that Berizzo is open to the possibility of recovering the striker.

The other thing that did not go unnoticed was the exclusion of Eduardo Vargas, along with the absence of Joaquin Montecinos. For the attacker Atletico Mineiro, They have not been quiet times in Brazil. He was sanctioned by the club after he was sent off in the Libertadores quarterfinals against Palmeiras and has not obtained a starting spot in the team. Now last, yes, he was active again, but he does not figure in Berizzo’s consideration.


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