Chile national football team
The Chile national football team are a strong competitor on the international stage. They have been to eight world cup finals with their best performance on home soil in 1962, where they finished third. They are one of the four founding members of the South American Football Confederation and competed in the first South America championship, now known as the Copa America. The other three nations were Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay and unfortunately for Chile, they are the only side never to have won it.
The Chile national football team may have made it to more than the eight finals if they had not been involved in controversy in 1989. During a world cup qualifying match against Brazil they were losing 1-0, with a defeat giving them no chance of qualification. The Chilean goalkeeper feigned being hit by a firework, with the rest of the side refusing to complete the game as a result. After video footage was reviewed the game went down as a 2-0 win for Brazil and Chile were banned from 1994 qualification.
The Chile national football team’s first ever international was all the way back in 1910. It was a 3-1 loss to Argentina in Buenos Aires. The team’s biggest wins are two 7-0 victories. The first at home to Venezuela in 1979 and the second at home to Armenia in 1997. On the other end of things their largest defeat was also by seven goals. In 1959 they lost 7-0 to Brazil in Rio de Janeiro.
World cup 1930
The first ever world cup did not feature a qualification phase. Teams were invited to participate which resulted in the tournament, held in South America, not featuring many European teams. This was down to the travel involved. Hosted by Uruguay is was also won by them, as they beat Argentina 4-2 in the final. Chile did not make it out of their first round group but that is not to say that they did not perform well. They beat Mexico and France before losing to Argentina in what was the group decider.
World cup 1950
The Chile national football team’s next appearance came in 1950 when the world cup was held in South America again. This time Brazil were the hosts. The tournament was again won by Uruguay as they beat the hosts 2-1 in the final. This time around things did not go well for the team as they opened with a 2-0 loss to England. They then followed this up with a similarly disappointing 2-0 loss to Spain, which resulted in them being eliminated from the competition. The final game which by this stage had nothing riding on in ended on a more positive note for the team. They managed to overcome the United States 5-2.
World cup 1962
Held on home soil the Chile national football team did not have to qualify for the 1962 world cup. The competition was eventually won by Brazil who beat Czechoslovakia 3-1 in the final. Chile won their opening two fixtures of their group to secure qualification with a game to spare. They beat Italy 2-0 to eliminate the international powerhouse. In the final group deciding fixture the team lost to West Germany 2-0 and progressed in second place. The Soviet Union had topped their group after remaining unbeaten with two wins and a draw. This did not stop Chile in the quarter final however as they came through with a 2-1 win to move onto Brazil in the semi final. This game proved a step too far for Chile as they lost 4-2. This was no embarrassment because as we know Brazil went on to lift the trophy and they were also reigning champions from four years previously. The Chile national football team ended up finishing in third place as they beat Yugoslavia 1-0 in the playoff.
World cup 1966
Four years on from finishing in third place the Chile national football team travelled to England. It was the hosts who prevailed beating West Germany 4-2 after extra time in the final. From the highs in Chile came the lows as the team slumped to a last place finish in their opening group. Two loses to Italy and the Soviet Union, a turnaround from last time, as well as a draw with North Korea left them with no wins and one point. They were already on the plane home.
World cup 1974
It was eight years after their last appearance when the Chile national football team appeared at the world cup again. It was back in Europe and being held in West Germany. In the end it was won by the hosts as they beat the Netherlands 2-1 in the final. Chile found themselves in a difficult group for several reasons. Alongside Australia were East Germany and West Germany. Chile lost to West Germany in the first fixture and followed this up with two draws. Both Germany’s progressed from the group with Chile eliminated in third place. East Germany beat West Germany in a politically charged group decider and this is often credited with forcing the West Germans to address their play and eventually win the world cup.
World cup 1982
Spain hosted the 1982 world cup. The tournament was won by another European team in Italy who claimed their third world cup with a 3-1 win over West Germany. Like in 1974 Chile were again in a group alongside eventual finalists West Germany. They were again beaten by them and also by Austria and Algeria. This left the Chile national football team with zero points and unsurprisingly bottom of the group.
World cup 1998
It was sixteen years until the Chile national football team made it back to a world cup, this time in France. The tournament was won by the hosts after they defeated Brazil 3-0 in the final. As mentioned part of the reason for Chile not being in a world cup for a while was their ban in 1994. This time around they managed to squeeze through the first group stage in second place after they drew all three games. They did not get much further however as Brazil comfortably defeated them 4-1 in the last sixteen. It was a strange tournament for Chile as they scored in every match, made it to the last sixteen, but did not win a single game.
World cup 2010
The world cup in 2010 was the last time the Chile national football team qualified for a world cup. South Africa hosted the tournament as it travelled to Africa for the first time. Spain won their first ever world cup as they defeated perennial runners-up the Nertherlands 1-0 after extra time in the final. Chile were actually in a group alongside the eventual winners and progressed behind them in second place. They defeated Honduras and Switzerland before losing in the group decider. In a strange coincidence it was Brazil who they faced in the last sixteen, as they did in 1998. It ended the same with Brazil progressing and Chile flying home.
World cup 2014
After finishing bottom of qualifying for the 2006 world cup the Chile national football team turned around their fortunes to finish second behind Brazil for 2010. They made it through with a game to spare and with Alexis Sanchez and Matias Fernandez driving them forward, put in a good performance in the finals.
For 2014 qualifying the Chile national football team are edging closer to the finals in Brazil. Chile sit in fourth place and five points above fifth placed Uruguay. The top four progress automatically with the fifth heading into a playoff.
Find out more
- Chile national football team news.
- Chile national football team website.
- Chile on Facebook.
- Chile on Twitter.
- South American qualifying.