Uruguay 1930-South Africa 2010 – The Chilean Men’s Soccer Team


1889 Valparaiso F.C. was founded in Chile. It was the first football club in Chile.


1916 Chile placed fourth in the South American Tournament in Buenos Aires (Argentina). It was one of the four nations to participate in the First South American Championship.  

1920 Valparaiso hosted the South American Tournament. Uruguay was the champion….

1922 The Chilean men’s soccer squad finished third at the Football South American Cup in Rio de Janeiro, behind Brazil (host country) Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina.

1926 Santiago de Chile hosted the South American Cup. Uruguay was the winner.

1927 Chile did not participate at the South American Championship in Lima, Peru.

1928 The Chilean Olympic Committee sent a national team to the Summer Olympic Games in Amsterdam, Holland.

1930 Chile accepted an invitation to play in the First World Championship in Montevideo, Uruguay. The Chilean men’s football squad was one of 13 national teams to make its international debut in the World Cup. In Uruguay, the Chilean team placed 5th, behind host country, Argentina, Yugoslavia and the United States. In the first round, Chile defeated France (1-0) and Mexico (3-0).

1941 The South American Tournament was held in Santiago de Chile. The host country earned the bronze medal.

1945 For the fourth time, Chile hosted the South American Tournament.

1950 Chile sent a national team for the World Cup in Brazil. Unfortunately, they were beaten by England (0-2) and Spain (0-3). However, they won a match at the FIFA World Cup. It upset the United States 5-2.

1951 The Chilean team earned the bronze medal at the Pan American Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1952 The National Olympic Committee sent a national squad to the Summer Games in Scandinavia.

1955 The South American Cup was held in Chile. The Chilean team was runner-up.

1962 The World Championships were scheduled for Chile. The Latin American territory hosted the global tournament for the third time. There were 16 national teams: Switzerland, Bulgaria, Colombia, Uruguay, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Italy, England, USSR, West Germany, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Brazil and Chile. Surprisingly, Chile finished third in the global competition. The Chilean men’s soccer team won four of its six matches-Switzerland, Italy, Russia and Yugoslavia. They only lost against West Germany -which was runner-up at the 1958 World Cup in Stockholm (Sweden)- and Brazil -World champion and under the leadership of Pelè. For the first time at the FIFA global championship, Chile qualified for the semi-finals. In the second round, Chile made history when it upset the USSR, which had gained the global title at the 1956 Summer Games and the 1960 European Cup, 2-1. This South American nation had also defeated Yugoslavia, which was runner-up at the European Tournament, 1-0. 

1963 The national team earned the bronze medal at the Pan American Games in Brazil.

1966 At the FIFA World Cup in London, England, Chile placed 13th…

1973 During the 1974 World Cup Qualification, the USSR did not want to play with Chile-both states severed diplomatic ties. The Union Soviet did not send a national team to protest against the president Augusto Jose Ramon Pinochet Ugarte, one of the greatest anti-Communist leaders in Latin America. Weeks ago, Chile draw with the USSR in Moscow. Chile was declared winner and qualified for the World Cup in Germany…Colo Colo was runner-up at the Copa Libertadores de America.

1974 Before the World Cup, Chile played nine matches-Haitian team, Santa Fe, Atletico Nacional de Colombia, Saprissa de Costa Rica, Municipal de Guatemala, River Plate and Irish team. Chile placed 13th in the World Championships in Munich, West Germany.

1974-1976 Elias Figueroa was one of the most valuable players in Latin America.

1975 Universidad Española (Chile) was runner-up at the Copa Libertadores de America.  In the final match, Independiente (Argentina) beat Universidad Española.

1982 Chile placed 22nd in the World Cup in Spain…Colo Colo won the Copa Libertadores de America. It defeated Olimpia (Paraguay) in the finals. Colo Colo became the first Chilean club to win the Copa Libertadores- a traditional tournament in South America.

1984 The Chilean men’s soccer squad was runner-up at the Pre-Olympic Tournament in Quito, Ecuador, and qualified for the XXIII Olympiad in the United States. Chile placed sixth in the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California-it finished behind France (gold medal), Brazil (silver medal), Yugoslavia (bronze medal), Italy and Canada.

1985 For unknown reasons, the FIFA canceled the World Youth Cup in Santiago de Chile. The tournament was held in Moscow (USSR).

1986 Santiago de Chile made a bid for the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

1987 Santiago de Chile hosted the FIFA Under-20 World Cup. The host country placed fourth. The Chilean government, an anti-Communist regime from 1973 to 1990, did not refuse to issue visas to Bulgarian and East German delegations…The national team was runner-up at the Pan American Games in Indianapolis, USA.  

1989 During the 1990 World Cup Qualification, between Chilean and Brazilians teams, Roberto Rojas (Chile’s goalkeeper) pretended to be a victim of an attack. Chile was suspended by FIFA. For this reason, Chile could not participate in the Pre-World Championships in the late 80s and early 90s.  

1993 The Chilean men’s football squad placed third at the FIFA Under-17 World Championships in Tokyo, Japan.

1998 Chile placed 16th in the World Championships in Paris (France), behind France, Brazil, Croatia, Holland, Argentina, Italy, Germany, Denmark, England, Yugoslavia, Romania, Nigeria, Mexico, Paraguay and Norway. The 1998 World Tournament was the 7th World Cup in which Chile has participated.

2000 Chile was runner-up at the 2000 South American Pre-Olympic Tournament in Brazil. Ivan Zamorano led the Chilean men’s football team to the bronze medal at the Summer Olympics in Australia. This became the fourth Latin American soccer team to win an Olympic medal.

2004 Chile hosted the South American Pre-Olympic Tournament.

2007 The Chilean men’s soccer squad placed third at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Toronto (Canada), behind Argentina and the Czech Republic. It was a date historic for Chile and South America.

2007-2008 Chile placed fourth in the South American Qualifying Group for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, behind Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.

Alejandro Guevara Onofre: He is a freelance writer. Alejandro is of Italian, African and Peruvian ancestry. He has published more than seventy-five research paper in English, and more than twenty in Spanish, concerning the world issues, olympic sports, countries, and tourism. His next essay is called “The Dictator and Alicia Alonso”. He is an expert on foreign affairs. Alejandro is the first author who has published a world-book encyclopedia in Latin America.

He admires Frida Kahlo (Mexican painter), José Gamarra (former president of the Bolivian Olympic Committee ,1970- 1982), Hillary Clinton (ex-First Lady of the USA), and Jimmy Carter (former President of the USA). Alejandro said: “The person who I admire the most is José Gamarra . He devoted his professional and personal life to sport. José played an important role in the promotion of Olympism in Bolivia -it is one of the Third World`s poorest countries- and Latin America. His biography is interesting”. The sportspeople he most admire is Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman. “This African-American sportswoman is my idol… “