Chile's national football team may suffer in the soon-to-start qualifying matches for the 2014 Football World Cup finals in Brazil following the injury sustained by star forwarder Alexis Sanchez, national coach Claudio Borghi said on Monday.
Borghi said the "serious injury" that Sanchez had suffered while playing for the Spanish club FC Barcelona, complicates the future of the team in the key opening matches of the qualifying round for Brazil which will start next month.
"Alexis' injury is a great sorrow to us. It is a very complicated injury. We still have to wait on the diagnosis but it is clear that he won't be able to play for us for a very long time," he was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
Chile will play its first qualifying match on October 7 against Argentina in Buenos Aires, and Borghi said that although the Chilean soccer team had a lot of players to rely on they don't have "the same quality and can't replace the injured ones."
He said the absence of Sanchez adds to other woes of the team as there are doubts as to whether Jorge Valdivia of Palmeiras, and Matias Fernandez of the Lisboa Sporting team, will be able to play in Buenos Aires.
Borghi said, however, that the recent good performances of Arturo Vidal, from the Italian club Juventus, and by Mauricio Pinilla, of Italy's Palermo, represented some positive news for the team.
"I am very proud of them, they both scored beautiful goals," Borghi said, referring to goals by the two Chileans that aided their Italian clubs in solid victories in the Italian Serie A where Juventus beat Parma 4-0 and Palermo won 4-3 against Inter Milan.