Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli said the Alexis Sanchez penalty that saw the host nation beat Argentina and claim their first ever Copa America gave him “unbelievable joy”.
Sampaoli’s side won 4-1 on penalties after a goalless game in Santiago and the Arsenal forward hit the winning spot-kick with a cheeky ‘panenka’ to spark wild celebrations in the Chilean capital.
“Alexis’ penalty gave me an unbelievable joy,” Sampaoli told a news conference.
“These players did a great job. They went out in search of this Copa. I didn’t see one play in the whole competition to suggest that Chile was not better than their rivals.”
He added: “I want to enjoy this moment with my players.
“To have won the Copa America here in Chile, with the people euphoric… I want to say thank you to my players for allowing me to be part of that.”
Sampaoli believes Chile were the better side over the 90 minutes and extra time and says the shoot-out success saw that justice was done on Saturday.
“In terms of attacking volume, Chile were superior to Argentina,” he said.
“We were able to dominate with the ball against a powerful team like Argentina. Chile played a great game and we had the opportunity to win it over the 90 minutes. I take my hat off to these players.
“The penalties did us justice in the end because that was the right result. Chile offered more in the game than Argentina.”
Sampaoli also explained that stopping Argentina captain Lionel Messi was a big part of his side’s success on Saturday.
“The idea was for us to be the protagonist so the rival wouldn’t be able to dominate the play,” he said.
“If that happens, Messi shows you why he is the best in the world. The idea was to press high up the pitch and come out playing the ball. There was more effort and more commitment from us throughout the match.”
And asked if he will carry on as Chile coach, Sampaoli said: “I just want to enjoy this moment. I will analyse everything else later on.”
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