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By Mike Owen :  28/05/2010 :  Comments (5) :

Goodison Park was, after Wembley, the most used stadium in the 1966 World Cup finals. It hosted all of Brazil's group games, a quarter-final and a semi-final. Four years earlier, Everton's Sausalito stadium had been, after the national stadium in Santiago, the most used stadium in the 1962 World Cup finals. It hosted all of Brazil's group games, a quarter-final and a semi-final.

What's more, in both cases, the host national team was due to play a semi-final at the Everton ground but, amid controversy, the game was switched at the 11th hour to the national stadium in the capital.

Two Evertons, separated by the Andes, Amazon and Atlantic, but such a remarkable link.

Supporters of the Everton at the Sausalito, Vina del Mar, are hoping for a feast of football in South Africa. Chile are well-fancied outsiders following some impressive performances in qualifying. Here, Chilean journalist JUAN PABLO SALGADO gives us a run-down:

The qualifying stages for the 2010 World Cup finals had everybody fired up with hope and optimism, just like the start of any tournament. But this time there was something that sparked a feeling of real expectation.

After an absence of 12 years from the World Cup finals (they last qualified in 1998 when managed by current Everton boss Nelson Acosta), they took on a manager with an extensive CV, the Argentinian Marcelo Bielsa, who had enjoyed an excellent qualifying campaign for the 2002 World Cup, but who could not take his Argentinian team into the latter stages of the competition.

From the very outset the manager from across the Andes changed the mentality of football in Chile. There would be no interviews, the players would no longer appear on television programmes, and everybody was to focus their attention on winning matches.

Bielsa made it clear that he would not change his formation, with three defenders, two wide men down the flanks, a playmaker in the centre of midfield, a ballwinner and three forwards (two playing out wide and one centre forward).

Chile went out and played the same way in every match, and ended up by qualifying deservedly, especially worthy of note since the South American qualification group has every team playing home and away matches against every other team, and is generally regarded as one of the most difficult groups to negotiate in the world.

Chile finished second, one point behind Brazil with a record of 18 matches played, ten victories, three draws and five defeats. The outstanding wins came against Argentina in Santiago by a goal to nil, and victories away from home in Bolivia, Venezuela, Peru, Paraguay and Colombia. In addition they had Humberto Suazo, the leading goalscorer in the group.

Throughout the campaign, despite some Everton players knocking on the door, such as goalkeeper Gustavo Delasso and full back Mauricio Arias, nobody from the club was called up for the initial squad of players. This was surprising since Everton had been champions as recently as 2008.

Among the 23 players who will go to the World Cup, where Chile will be up against Honduras, Switzerland and Spain, there are players who ply their trade in Spain (Zaragoza, Xerez and Real Sociedad), Italy (Udinese and Reggina), Portugal (Sporting Lisbon), Greece (PAOK), Brazil (Flamengo), Russia (CSKA Moscow), England (West Bromwich Albion), Argentina (Boca Juniors), Germany (Bayer Leverkusen), Mexico (América), Turkey (Besiktas) and the United Arab Emirates (Al Ain). From Chile the clubs to be represented are Colo Colo, Universidad de Chile, Unión Española and Universidad Católica.

Expectations are high for the team’s prospects in South Africa owing to the good form they showed in the qualifying stages. However, in the light of Bielsa’s disappointing World Cup with Argentina, perhaps the best advice is ‘don’t hold your breath’.

In Chile's last appearance in the finals, under current Everton boss Nelson Acosta, they drew with Italy 2-2 in their first game in Group B and made the knock-out stages in which they were pitted against eventual 1998 finalists Brazil in Paris and lost 4-1.

Tim Vickery, bbc.co.uk's South American football correspondent, says: "The most interesting South American team in South Africa will be Chile . . .Coach Marcelo Bielsa is obsessed with attack. If the game is played home, away, up a mountain or into a force 10 gale, it makes no difference - Bielsa wants the action to take place in the opposing team's half of the field." Quotes taken from this article http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/timvickery/2010/05/south_american_trio_count_down.html

Everton v Everton,

Goodison Park,

Wednesday 4th August 2010, kickoff 8pm

Reader Comments

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Eric Myles
1   Posted 29/05/2010 at 01:42:13

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Maybe when they're here this Marco Bielsa could give Moyes some tips on attack?
Colin Potter
2   Posted 29/05/2010 at 09:20:47

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Do you think he would listen to him Eric?
Micky Norman
3   Posted 29/05/2010 at 10:56:08

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Are there any Everton players in the Chile squad? just thinking of making a few bob with a bet or two in the boozer. The half and half scarves will be worth collecting from our friendly. really looking forward to being at a little bit of history.
Phil Bellis
4   Posted 29/05/2010 at 12:42:30

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A shame this game will form a big part of Moyes' pre-season fitness/tactics programme as it would've been a nice idea to mix the teams for this historic meeting
We really don't, as a club, do enough to trumpet our place in the history of the development of the game, home and abroad
Andy Crooks
5   Posted 31/05/2010 at 19:30:17

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Phil Bellis, you are absolutely right. This game should be something special.

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