Chile captain Claudio Bravo said he had achieved his dream after the host nation claimed their first ever Copa America title on Saturday.
Jorge Sampaoli’s Chile were triumphant 4-1 on penalties at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago, following 120 scoreless minutes against Argentina.
Gonzalo Higuain put Chile in the box seat when he blazed his spot-kick over the bar, before Bravo denied Ever Banega and Alexis Sanchez stepped up to seal the trophy for Chile and a spot at the 2017 Confederations Cup.
Saturday’s victory in the capital ended Chile’s wait for their maiden crown, having finished runners-up on four occasions and Bravo was delighted to have reached one of his career goals.
“I always dreamed of lifting the Copa one day,” Bravo told reporters.
“It was the moment. We had to leave the negative history behind. This is dedicated to all Chileans.”
Bravo, whose Chile were eliminated in the round of 16 at last year’s World Cup, added: “We had the experience from the World Cup. I told my team-mates that they would miss two penalties and we were going to win.”
Man of the match Arturo Vidal said his team deserved to win.
“The Chilean people needed a win, something as beautiful as being champions of the Copa America is what I think this country needed,” Vidal said afterwards.
“Now we will fight to the maximum for the next World Cup, but today we took an amazing step and this generation deserved it.”
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