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Sampaoli predicted Chile's fall from grace

Former Chile boss predicted La Roja's fall from grace two years ago

October 13, 2017 By Oscar Rojas
The current Argentina manager had his doubts about the team's chances of making it to Russia in 2015, especially due to the behaviour of his players.

Chile's elimination from the 2018 World Cup might have come as a surprise for most, but not for their former boss, Jorge Sampaoli.

Chilean journal Las Últimas Noticias spoke with Sampaoli two years ago. The contents of the interview were made public today, and some of the players included in it might not be happy, since Sampaoli revealed shocking details about the team's form, including off-the pitch habits of some of his best players, such as Arturo Vidal.

Sampaoli had his doubts about Chile's chances of making it to qualify, especially because not all of his players were fully committed to the cause.

"Some of them aren't reliable anymore. Everytime Edu (Vargas) gets here, he's worse than before. Matías Fernández isn't able to play the way I want him to play for the National Team, and Mauricio Pinilla is only thinking about partying when I call him up," Sampaoli stated in 2015.

But Sampaoli's harshest criticism was directed to Arturo Vidal, who's had his fair share of problems away from the pitch due to his relaxed life style and his "party animal" status.

"Vidal's case has to be analyzed by a medical expert," Sampaoli said. He likes to drink and doesn't know when to stop. I remember one time, we were travelling back from Lima, and he asked for my permission to open a beer he bought at the airport. I told him not to, because we were travelling with team execs and all sorts of people. He didn't obey and ended up sharing a bottle of whisky with some of his team-mates," the coach added.

Sampaoli had to deal with the aftermath of Arturo Vidal's crash during the 2015 Copa América. The midfielder was banned from driving for destroying his Ferrari after a drunken night out.

Sampaoli's remarks also touched Alexis Sánchez. The player's personality didn't help when he needed him to get along with his other team-mates.

"Sometimes, Alexis wakes up with his headphones on and haves his breakfast all by himself. He doesn't care if no one talks to him," the coach revealed.

Added to that, Sampaoli was trying to get other players involved, especially if the team wanted to play in the 2018 World Cup. His last statement in the interview condemned La Roja's fate, even if he wasn't around to change it.

"If we continue down this road, it will be extremely difficult to have Chile playing in the 2018 World Cup," the coach predicted in 2015.

After this leak, none of the players mentioned by Sampaoli has stepped up to offer their point of view.

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