2010 FIFA World Cup: Chile's Greatest World Cup Moment

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IMay 18, 2010

Throughout the history of Chilean football, there have been many great players and moments that have existed for La Roja.

From being in seven World Cups to having some incredible players, Chile have had their fair share of some fantastic World Cup moments.

But overall, if there is one moment that takes the cake for Chile's greatest moment, this moment is also considered to be one of the worst moments overall in football history.

This moment is The Battle of Santiago.

Back in that Group 2 clash in 1962: Chile (who were the hosts of that World Cup) faced an Italian side that were looking to advance over the hosts. But going into this World Cup match, there was a little more zest to it than most World Cup matches.

The reason for this was that two Italian journalists named Antonio Ghirelli and Corrado Pizzinelli claimed that Chile was in shambles and was incapable of hosting the World Cup after a major earthquake that registered at 9.5 on the Richter Scale (the largest registered earthquake in human history).

The comments made by Ghirelli and Pizzinelli inflamed the Chilean population and caused that extra edge to that Group 2 clash.

And as that match started, there was no doubt everything was going to be chippy as the first foul was just 12 seconds into the match, and everything went downhill from there.

Italy's Giorgio Ferrini was sent off in the twelfth minute after a foul on Honorino Landa but refused to leave the pitch and had to be dragged off by policemen. After Ferrini's sending off, the match got even more chippy, with Chile's Leonel Sánchez punching Italian Mario David; but he wasn't sent off. Just several minutes later though, David was sent off for kicking Sánchez.

And later on in the match, Sánchez proved that he still was not done as he nailed a left hook into the nose of Humberto Maschio, breaking Maschio's nose.

Overall, police intervened three more times in the match and Chile were able to win 2-0 on late goals from Jaime Ramírez and Jorge Toro.

The reason why this is Chile's greatest World Cup moment is that it ensured that Chile would advance out of the group for the first time in their World Cup history at the expense of Italy.

Along with that, it showed how much these players did truly care about their country as Chilean footballers stood up for their country after what the Italian journalists said.

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