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Bravo: Chile will play with pride in the shirt

Chile captain Claudio Bravo said his side will play with pride in the shirt, as they prepare to carry the hopes of the host nation at the Copa America.

Bravo has joined Jorge Sampaoli’s squad after being a part of the winning Barcelona squad at the UEFA Champions League final in Berlin on Saturday, where the goalkeeper sat on the bench behind Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The 32-year-old will lead Chile’s defence as the South American nation hosts the continental tournament for the first time since 1991 – when they finished third.

Bravo has called for his team-mates to deliver in front of their home fans, after he and Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal completed Sampaoli’s 23-man contingent.

“We come to the team with pride to wear this shirt,” Bravo told a news conference. 

“It’s much better for the team when the players are at a good level and eager. 

“With Arturo, we were the last to arrive, we saw the group working very well.”

Bravo insisted he will not be distracted by the recent success he has experienced at club level, and said the pressure was on the countries who have reigned before in the tournament.

Chile have never won the Copa America, despite reaching the final on four occasions.

“Coming to the team with different mood is not the focus,” Bravo said of his success with Barcelona. 

“[The spirit] goes through wearing the shirt of Chile, especially playing a Copa America in our country. Playing in front of our people will be very special.

“We are not anxious or depressed… We do what we like. The pressure is on the teams that have won the Copa America. This is a very important challenge for us.”

Chile play the tournament’s curtain-raiser against Ecuador in Santiago on Thursday.

“I always analyse who we will face. The first match is the most important for us,” Bravo added. 

“With Ecuador… We do not care about a particular player, but by the collective, which is very strong.”

Wed 10 Jun, 2015
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