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Sanchez plays down change room fight

Alexis Sanchez has played down a bust-up with Marcelo Diaz following Chile’s 1-0 friendly win over El Salvador, as Jorge Sampaoli’s men aim high for the 2015 Copa America at home.

Sanchez wants Chile to make a statement by winning the continental championships and is convinced his disagreement with Diaz on Friday will not affect the team’s preparation.

Diaz was apparently unhappy with Sanchez when he demanded to take a free-kick against El Salvador, with the former the designated set-piece taker.

Reports in the Chilean media claimed the pair had to be separated in the change room after the match but Sanchez dismissed any talk of a serious disagreement.

“We’re all good,” Sanchez said at a media conference on Monday.

“It was an exchange of opinions, like [the media] loves, it’s normal. Everything’s sorted, there’s no fight and we are all calm, they’re things that happen in a match.”

The hosts kick off the tournament against Ecuador on Thursday, with Bolivia and Mexico also lying in wait in Group A.

Sanchez, who has scored 26 times in 80 appearances for his country, feels that the presence of the home fans will give Chile a special advantage, which the 26-year-old hopes will help his side claim the title.

“We support the fans on the field. [Together], we play as 12 people,” he said at a media conference.

“Being at home, we have so much help, since players have the support of the fans. We are calm and eager to achieve something important to our country and give joy to our people.

“The Copa is a nice tournament but very difficult, and we have to be focused for every match. I want to win and we will fight for it.

“I want to enjoy the moment, be a good example and bring the Chile name to the top of football.”

Chile’s best result in the Copa America is second, which they have achieved four times – the most recent runners-up result coming in 1987.

Four years ago, Sanchez and Co. were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Venezuela.

Tue 9 Jun, 2015
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