Gary Medel has urged his Chile team-mates not to get carried away ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Peru on Tuesday.
Jorge Sampaoli’s men have enjoyed a successful few months, winning the Copa America on home soil before continuing their fine form with a 2-0 win over Brazil on Thursday.
Medel is well aware that Chile still have a long way to go, though, and is determined to add three more points to their tally in Peru.
“We are the champions of South America, but we have to earn respect,” the Inter man said at a press conference.
“We have to keep our feet on the ground and play well in order to qualify for Russia.
“We have a responsibility to the people. We want to finish among the top places and give the people a reason to cheer.
“I hope that we play even better than against Brazil. The game is not about revenge for Peru for their loss at the Copa America.
“It is about the three points and we want to do well.”
Star players Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal were both doubtful for the game against Brazil, but eventually featured for the full 90 minutes and will be key figures versus Peru as well.
Nevertheless, Eduardo Vargas will be equally important for Chile, having scored four times in his past two outings against Peru.
The hosts, meanwhile, will be desperate to make amends for their disappointing 2-0 defeat at the hands of Colombia on matchday one.
Ricardo Gareca’s men impressed at the Copa America as they finished third – having been beaten in the semi-finals by Chile – yet their loss to Colombia was an early setback in their quest to qualify for Russia.
They have not managed to reach a World Cup finals since 1982 and had to settle for seventh place in the qualification campaign for the latest edition in Brazil.
Peru’s recent record gives them little reason for optimism either ahead of Tuesday’s encounter. They have won just one of their last 11 matches versus Chile, losing the remaining 10.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!