In a signing spree on international players, Chelsea’s women’s team have secured Chilean star goalkeeper Christiane Endler.
At just 22 years old, the Chilean has already impressed on the South American stage. She first came to attention in 2008 when Chile hosted the under 20 Women’s World Cup. Starting her club career at Unión La Calera, she moved to Everton and reached the final of the Copa Libertadores.
After moving to the U.S. to study at the University of South Florida, “Tiane” returned to Chile to win the Libertadores with Colo Colo, who in turn achieved something special as they became one of the few clubs in the world to have their men’s and women’s teams win a continental competition.
Endler, who stands tall at 6 foot 1, captained Chile’s team to an impressive silver medal in the South American Games in March.
“It was always my dream to play professionally on a huge team like Chelsea or in Europe and now it’s coming true, and I’m very happy,” Endler said of the opportunity.
While the goalkeeper has been strong for the USF Bulls, the team has been understanding about their star player’s desire to turn pro.
“It has been a childhood dream of Tiane’s to play at the professional level and now she gets to do it with arguably one of the best known clubs in the world, Chelsea FC,” said Bulls head coach Denise Schilte-Brown.
Having played in the juniors as a forward, protecting the goal has become a specialty for Endler, who has conceded an average of less than a goal per game at college level.
“Christiane Endler is one of the top young goalkeepers in international football and it’s a real coup for us to get her here at Chelsea,” manager Emma Hayes said.
Chilean youngster Cristián Cuevas joined Chelsea from O’Higgins after impressing during the under 20 World Cup in Turkey. He is currently on loan at FC Eindhoven in The Netherlands.
While Chile’s men have made their name across the world’s professional clubs, Endler is the first Chilean woman to be fully dedicated to soccer at the elite level.