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Let me start off by saying that this has undoubtedly been the World Cup of a lifetime. Even though England have bowed out in the early stages, this has been a beautiful tournament for the neutral fans. It has had everything from late goals to underdog stories.

One of the teams that was expected to be an underdog was Chile. Now Chile have always had a decent team, from the likes of the 1990s with Marcelo Salas and Iván Zamorano, to today with Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez and Juventus midfield general Arturo Vidal. But even though they had a great squad, they entered this World Cup in perilous circumstances. Two teams in their group were the finalists in 2010 - Spain and the Netherlands.

Chile fans have been drooling over the performances of Alexis Sanchez. Bleacher Report

With Spain dominating world and European football since 2008, they were expected to breeze through this group, but after their shock 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands, it seemed like they just never got into gear.

Going into their second group game, Chile and the rest of the world expected Spain to come out all guns blazing to repair the damage that had been done to their campaign, much like in 2010, when Spain lost their opener to Switzerland (albeit not in quite such dominant fashion). But the Spain that we saw paled in comparison to the Chileans, who used their speed and quick ability to counter attack to dispose of the Spanish and dump them out of the tournament.

That is the first reason why the world has grown fond of Chile. Spain became a dictator of world football. They once were an attacking force that scored goals and had entertaining lead ups. But over the past six years, their football had become more slow and methodical; hardly entertaining for the fans. Chile were the antithesis of that this year. They toppled the dictator and went marching on to the second round.

Chile play dangerous football too. Not dangerous like Luis Suarez, but stylistically, everyone in Chile wants to attack the ball. Out of their defence, Mauricio Isla is the only one with any real credibility. Gary Medel just got relegated with Cardiff, and Gonzalo Jara has spent the last few years rolling around in the muck that is the Championship. Chile’s aim is to always score one more goal than their opposition. The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Eduardo Vargas and the older duo of Paredes or Pinilla can always be dangerous.

There is bad news looming for La Roja, though. That bad news comes in the form of a team who play in yellow and are hosting this year's tournament. Brazil have seemed up and down over this tournament. Defensively, they are shaky, as can be seen by Marcelo’s own goal; Thiago Silva performing under par compared to his PSG record, and Julio Cesar being way past his best years. In many ways, Brazil and Chile mirror each other.

This Chile side are many peoples dark horses for the tournament. Soccerlens


The most important factor in this match will be the two key stars, the Barcelona alumni, Alexis Sanchez and Neymar. Both have performed admirably this season and have shone in the World Cup.

Unfortunately for Chile, Neymar has come into the form of his life, and while many people would be finding it tough under such scrutiny, Neymar has embraced it while scoring four goals at this tournament so far. He has shown no signs of slowing down either.

That isn’t where the bad news ends, either. Chile have been drawn in the harder section of the bracket too. Even if they surpass the host nation Brazil in the second round, they will have to face Colombia or Uruguay, and the former looks at top speed even without Falcao. Uruguay are obviously very reliant on Luis Suarez, as seen in their opener with Costa Rica when they withered away and lost 3-1. Even if they pass those two monumental tasks, they will likely come up with either Germany or France in the semi final. If they had just managed to beat the Netherlands in the last match of the group, their route to the final could have been so much easier.

But that is undoubtedly part of the charm of Chile. They started the tournament as underdogs, and they will continue with that moniker for the whole tournament. There are quite a few underdog stories at this World Cup, but the Chilean one has captured hearts and minds all over the globe.

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