Santiago, Feb 22 (IANS) The coach for Chile’s national soccer team, Juan Antonio Pizzi, announced on Sunday he is open to the possibility of including players from foreign clubs in the team, if they maintain links with the country.
Pizzi is looking into all the soccer players that are administratively (available) but also that want to and feel like they could represent the team. There has to be commitment. All players that fit this criteria will be considered, Xinhua news agency reported.
The former Valencia and San Lorenzo coach, who replaced Jorge Sampaoli after his sudden departure due to differences with local soccer leaders, has just arrived from Europe after a tour to get to know the Chilean players playing for foreign clubs.
In reference to the tour, Pizzi said: “what mattered the most was getting to know them. I already knew some of them as soccer players but had not previously had the opportunity to get to know them on a personal level.”
“We left very satisfied by how we were received and the state of the players, their mindset, their desire to continue participating in the national team. I hope that little by little we can continue to build on our ideas and our hopes to keep a good team,” added the Spanish-Argentinian.
Pizzi is currently preparing his team for the upcoming decisive matches against Venezuela and Argentina in March, part of the South America qualifiers for the World Cup Russia 2018.