8 October 2014 19:00
Claudio Bravo is set to become Chile’s record cap-holder when his country host Peru in a friendly on Friday.
The Barcelona goalkeeper has been in sensational form for his new club this term, having signed from Real Sociedad during the close-season, and this latest achievement will add further gloss to what is fast becoming a glittering campaign.
Having equalled Leonel Sanchez’s tally of 84 caps in a goalless draw with Mexico last month, the 32-year-old will break that 46-year-old record when he turns out this week.
Bravo’s clean sheet in the 2-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano last weekend took him to 630 minutes without conceding a goal in the Spanish top flight, breaking Pedro Maria Artola’s Barca record for the longest unbeaten start to a season.
The keeper is now 194 minutes short of Barcelona’s league record spell without letting a goal in, which is held by Miguel Reina.
An upcoming El Clasico on October 25 will pose a major threat to his chances of breaking Reina’s record, but Bravo’s main focus will now be on cementing his reputation as one of Chile’s all-time greats.
Bravo made his national team debut in 2004 and has captained the side since 2008.
Jorge Sampaoli’s men are currently in the middle of a run of six pre-tournament friendly fixtures as they strive to build a good run of form before hosting the 2015 Copa America.
Chile were one of the surprise packages at the World Cup earlier this year and were unfortunate to be eliminated by hosts Brazil on penalties in the second round after beating Spain and Australia in the group stage.
Their most recent fixture saw them secure a 1-0 victory over Haiti, but Peru will offer a significant step up in class.
Peru will likely boast the attacking talents of Paolo Guerrero, but the striker will depart the squad soon after the match as his club side, Corinthians, are set to face Atletico Mineiro the day after the team’s clash with Guatemala on Tuesday.
However, Guerrero believes Peru have plenty to be optimistic about as they continue their own preparations for the Copa America, particularly after back-to-back 2-0 wins over Iraq and Qatar.
“Our team has been getting stronger and it’s important to have good results,” he is quoted as saying by Andina. “We had two good games in Asia and want to make a great match with Chile and, if possible, win.
“This team is gradually maturing.”