After an epic two year, 16 match qualifying odyssey, Chile’s national soccer team qualified third in South America for the 2014 World Cup this year, and November’s draw revealed “La Roja’s” reward: a group featuring Spain, the Netherlands and Australia.
While progressing from a group featuring both finalists from 2010’s competition may seem an insurmountable task, a revitalized and slick attacking Chilean side is sure to give Europe’s heavyweights a run for their money.
Under much-loved coach Jorge Sampaoli, Chile has an impressive record in 2013 — a 10 game unbeaten streak included a 2-2 draw against Spain and an incredible 2-0 win over England on the hallowed turf of Wembley Stadium.
When duking it out against its Group B competition, Chile will hope to call on the world class talent of players including Barcelona star forward Alexis Sánchez and Juventus’ Arturo Vidal, who has earned a reputation in recent seasons as the best box-to-box midfielder in the world.
Chilean fans’ excitement at their team’s burgeoning reputation as one of the most enjoyable sides to watch in international football is quantified by ticket sales — between Aug. 20 and Oct. 10, Chile was among the top five bidders for Brazil 2014 tickets, and in November’s most recent sale “La Roja” seats were snapped up in minutes.
“La Roja” will open its World Cup campaign in Cuiaba against Australia on June 13 — matches against Spain in Rio De Janeiro on June 18 and the Netherlands in Sao Paulo on June 23 will follow.
The latest round of tickets sales for the World Cup 2014 opened on Dec. 8 and will run to Jan. 30. Sales work in a random lottery drawn from bids placed during that time period — to try your luck head to FIFA’s ticketing page to set up an account.