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Arturo Vidal, Chile eliminate defending champion Spain from the World Cup

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David Ramos

SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Bracket'

See what happens when you don't take Fernando Llorente to the World Cup? Okay, so it's not totally because of Llorente being left of Spain's roster, but it's nice to make fun of it on the internet.

Spain's run in the 2014 FIFA World Cup lasted all of two games. Well, two meaningful games, that is. Spain's game against Australia next Monday will mean absolutely nothing outside of both teams playing for a bit of pride and trying to get at least one point before they head home for the rest of the summer.

That's because Arturo Vidal and Chile used an absolutely brilliant first-half performance to beat Spain 2-0 and knock out the wobbling defending world and European champions. The nail was put in the Spaniards' coffin. Spain's run of greatness in major tournaments is no more.

You see the way Chile played and you can't help but love it. You see teams come out firing, and then there's Chile. There foot wasn't just on the gas pedal, they were essentially sitting on it all together with boulders strapped to their backs. On a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of how fast you can play, they came out at a 50.

Just watch this pass from a guy by the name of Alexis Sánchez on Chile's opening goal. That's beautiful. When you talk about a player threading the neddle, that's the perfect example of it. Precision pass to setup up a wonderfully executed goal. Just another moment that put the wheels in motion

Random thoughts and observations

  • You're telling me Arturo Vidal had knee surgery a little more than a month ago? What a monster. The guy is just superhuman. Unlike in Chile's opener, this was more of a Vidal game that we're used to. He was everywhere, creating chances, knocking Spain players on their backsides. You just gotta love the guy for the kind of effort he puts in — especially since he's just about five weeks off of knee surgery.


  • The unfortunate thing about Chile playing so well is that there's no way in hell Sánchez supposed transfer doesn't continue to go up after the tournament he's currently having. He was always going to be an incredibly influential and important part of the Chilean attack, but he's been superb through two games. He hasn't disappointed one bit.

  • With that said, bring us Alexis, Beppe. The combination play that could happen between Sánchez, Carlos Tévez and Arturo Vidal would be an absolute treat to watch.

  • I saw a few folks mention this before the World Cup started, but it bears repeating: Mauricio Isla having a good showing in Brazil is a win-win situation for Juventus. For one, if he plays well, there could be a good number of teams calling up Beppe Marotta asking what it would take to get Isla on their roster. Or, if for some reason Juve decide to keep Isla, then he comes back to Turin with a bunch of confidence — something he hasn't always had in his two years with the Old Lady.

  • That Netherlands vs. Chile game in the group stage finale is going to be a ton of fun, isn't it?

  • LOL Spain.