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World Cup Player Profile: Mauricio Isla

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With the World Cup now a matter of days away, we profile the Juventus players who will feature in Brazil.

Lennart Preiss

Mauricio Isla might not have fulfilled the potential that he first entered Serie A with, but he remains a crucial player in Jorge Sampaoli's plans for Chile. While Antonio Conte has used him exclusively as the backup for Stephan Lichtsteiner as the right wingback, he started off in central midfield for La Roja before moving out to the right and then ending up at his current rightback position.

He was part of the youth ranks at Universidad Catolica in Chile but was signed up by Udinese even before he made an appearance in the senior side on the back of a sparkling performance in the U-20 World Cup in 2007. Isla played at Udine for five seasons before Juve signed him at the beginning of the 2012-13 season.

Chile
Wingback
Caps: 47, Goals: 2
Group B

Mauricio Isla

Service for Chile: Isla is renowned for a turn of pace that has turned games around. He has 45 caps for the national side with two goals and three assists in that time. Aside from leading Chile to third place in the 2007 U-20 World Cup (alongside Arturo Vidal), he played in every game in the 2010 World Cup, and then in the 2011 Copa America as well.

What makes him interesting: One of the more unheralded players at Juventus, he is a mainstay of La Roja and Sampaoli has relied on him heavily to the extent of not picking any understudies at rightback for Brazil. He will be looking for a good tournament to force Conte to give him more playing time next season.

What to expect in Brazil: Chile are in a tough Group B with Spain and the Netherlands the favorites to go through with Australia running the risk of becoming cannon fodder. Especially with Vidal recovering from knee surgery and racing time to get fit, Chile have the potential to play spoiler and indeed earn themselves a spot in the knockout rounds.

Look for Isla to have some decent performances against Spain and Netherlands, and possibly show off some attacking prowess against the Australians. Chile might not be making it through to the knockout stages this time around.