7 September 2014 16:32
Captain Claudio Bravo will make history if he lines up for Chile in Tuesday’s friendly with Haiti in Florida.
The Barcelona goalkeeper picked up his 84th cap for his country in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Mexico in California.
That made the 31-year-old Chile’s joint-record appearance holder with Leonel Sanchez, who represented the South American nation between 1955 and 1968.
Bravo is now set to sit alone on 85 caps if head coach Jorge Sampaoli selects him between the posts at the Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
Speaking about the achievement on Twitter, Bravo posted: “An honour, a privilege, a tremendous satisfaction to be able to wear this shirt. Thank you very much for being there!”
Chile were one of the standout performers at the World Cup in Brazil earlier this year, but exited the competition in the round of 16 in a penalty shootout defeat to the hosts.
Sampaoli – who agreed to remain head coach until 2018 last month – is now gearing up for next year’s Copa America, which Chile will contest on home soil, while the longer target remains the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The 54-year-old was in high spirits after the Mexico draw, stating that the high octane nature of the game will aid his team going forward.
“It was a game of high pressure from the first minute,” he said. “In the first half we largely dominated.
“For me it was a great game, tactically it was a friendly of high intensity.”
There was further good news for Chile as Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal came through 90 minutes despite a knee complaint, but he is unlikely to feature against Haiti while full-back Eugenio Mena is out with a muscular injury.
In Haiti, Chile face a team who are ranked some 105 spots below them in the official FIFA World Rankings.
The Caribbean nation were ranked as high as 38th in January 2013, but they have plummeted down the order following a run of just one victory in their past 11 matches.
Haiti’s poor form saw Israel Cantero dismissed as head coach, with former Reims boss Marc Collat appointed as his replacement in January.
Collat’s rein started with a 0-0 draw against Kosovo – who were playing their first official FIFA recognised match – in March.