Published on June 20th, 2014 | by John Lyons


Chile on the run to World Cup glory

Chile´s players are running to success in the World Cup – with the tireless Marcelo Díaz leading the way.
FIFA statistics show that the Basel midfield grafter has run the furthest of any player in the World Cup so far. In two matches, the former Universidad de Chile man has covered an incredible 25.3km.
That puts him ahead of Australia captain Mile Jedinak (23.6) and Japan´s Yuto Nagatomo (22.4km).
Díaz said: “It´s obvious that I´m very tired after the games – although not dead. In fact, I could stay running if the game went into extra-time. Running with la Roja is a greater motivation.”
Chile have three players in the top ten. Left wing-back Eugenio Mena is seventh with 21.9km, while right wing-back Mauricio Isla (21.6) is joint tenth with Holland´s Daley Blind and England´s Wayne Rooney.
In total, five of Chile´s players have covered at least 20km, taking into account midfielder Charles Aránguiz, 26th with 20.6km and Nottingham Forest defender Gonzalo Jara, who has notched up 20.1km.
Star players like Alexis Sánchez (19.7km), Gary Medel (19.6km) and Arturo Vidal (18.3km) have done their fair share in Chile’s sprint into the knockout stages, while even goalkeeper Claudio Bravo has run a surprising 11.4km.
It looks as though the hard work Chile have done in preparation for the World Cup is paying off. Whether Jorge Sampaoli´s troops can maintain it if they get to the later rounds could be a key question.
Next up, though, is Holland on Monday. La Roja need to win to top Group B and, in all likelihood, avoid a last 16 clash with hosts Brazil.

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