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The last decade has been a golden era for Chilean football, with La Roja finally winning their first Copa America in 2015 and then retaining the continental title in the special centenary edition in 2016.
And three members of that team, and also three of the greatest players to ever come out of the country, have all worn the Barça colours.
The first of the trio had already left the Camp Nou by the time of Chile’s back-to-back titles. Alexis Sánchez joined FCB from Udinese at the beginning of the 2011/12 season and went on to play 141 matches and score 47 goals, winning six major titles in his three years at the club.
In 2014 he left for Arsenal, and since last January has been plying his trade at Manchester United.
As Sánchez departed, Claudio Bravo arrived. The Chilean national goalkeeper and captain was signed from Real Sociedad in the summer of 2014, just after the World Cup where Chile had lost to hosts Brazil in the round of 16.
He set a new record by keeping eight consecutive clean sheets to start his first season, and was at Barça for two years. He made 75 appearances and conceded just 43 goals, almost entirely in the league while Marc Andre Ter Stegen played most Champions League and Copa del Rey encounters.
He left for Manchester City in 2016 and is still there now.
Vidal makes it three
And now Chilean number three, Arturo Vidal, has arrived at FC Barcelona. Like the other two, he also played at Colo Colo before coming to Europe, in his case via Bayer Leverkusen first, then Juventus and Bayern Munich after that.
Following his presentation on Monday, ‘The Warrior’ trained with his new team mates in the afternoon and could well make his debut in Sunday’s Spanish Super Cup game with Sevilla – that all depends on what Ernesto Valverde decides.
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