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5 Chile players to watch at the World Cup

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 8, 2014 at 2:00 pm •  Published: April 8, 2014
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SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Even with a strong team at this year's World Cup, Chile will be facing some huge challenges.

The Chileans reached the round of 16 at the last World Cup, and world-class players like Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal and Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez should make them better this time. But Chile was drawn into a tough Group B with defending champion Spain and 2010 runner-up Netherlands, making advancement more difficult.

The national team has been in good form recently, however. Chile lost only two of 15 games last year, and drew with Spain and beat England in friendly matches.

Here are five players to watch:

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ARTURO VIDAL

Arturo Vidal has become a mainstay in the lineup of Italian champion Juventus, helping the team win the Serie A title the past two seasons.

Vidal has undergone an impressive transformation from being a stopper to making himself into a versatile player who recovers lost balls, sets up assists and often scores goals.

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ALEXIS SANCHEZ

The attacking skills of Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez makes him Chile's most lethal offensive weapon.

"The Wonder Boy" scored eight times with the national squad, including a double against England at Wembley Stadium.

Sanchez is also enjoying his best season in the Spanish league since joining Barcelona in 2011.

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GARY MEDEL

Gary Medel is a fierce defensive midfielder who helps make up for a Chile defense that is seen as its weakest link.

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