Chile played a pale America’s Cup group stage with just one victory over Bolivia in four games. The main news around the team was the violation of the regime by Vidal and the company, who arranged a barbershop for themselves right in the hotel room. There weren’t many events on the football field worth seeing. One of them is the appearance of the Englishman Ben Brereton in the composition.
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Found with the help of Football Manager, and bloggers staged a flash mob to be taken to the national team
Brereton’s mother is Chilean, she went to study in England at the age of 14 and stayed there forever. Until now, no one would have found out about this if the footballer himself had not told in an interview when he moved to Blackburn in 2018. Later, Football Manager researcher Mark Hitch stumbled upon him and added a second nationality to the player’s profile.
The story was continued in the fall of last year. Chilean streamer Alvaro Perez under the pseudonym Chileantoon discovered Brereton in the new version of the game.
“My favorite thing to do in FM is taking on the Chilean national team and nationalizing promising footballers. So I found Ben at about five in the morning. Then the idea came to my mind to launch the hashtag #BreretonALaRoja so that the whole country would know about it, ”Perez recalls.
In social networks, the streamer proudly signs himself as the one who found a football player for the Chilean national team, and instead of an avatar he has a photo of Brereton. Colleagues supported the flash mob, the story really spread throughout the country and received a lot of publications in the media.
However, the forward himself says that he was being followed long before everything started. The previous head coach of the Chileans, Reinaldo Rueda, wanted to renew the team and suggested looking for players with Chilean roots abroad. Even before Brereton in November, Niklas Castro from Alesund, who was born and lived all his life in Norway, made his debut for the national team.
Probably, these stories just coincided in time.
Born on a cold evening in Stoke and won the European Youth Championship with England
Ben was born in Stoke-on-Trent in the family of an English policeman Martin Brereton and a Chilean Andrea Diaz. He made his first steps in football at the Stoke City academy, but Nottingham Forest offered him a professional contract. The debut turned out to be impressive – the title “Rookie of the Year in the Championship” at the end of the 2016/17 season.
Brereton was regularly called up to the England U-19 national team and went with her to the European Youth Championship in Georgia. Along with Rhys James, Mason Mount and Aaron Ramsdale, who are now competing in Euro 2020, he won that tournament and became the top scorer with three goals. However, after he faced the fate of many partners on that team – vegetation in the English quagmire. Without waiting for a chance in the first team, at 22, he accepted an invitation from Chile.
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“I played for England when I was young, but now this question is closed. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to represent another part of my family. My mother and grandfather are very proud of me, they could not hold back their tears. Chile is a great team, it is an honor for me to play for it, ”Brereton explained his decision.
Arriving at the location of the national team, Brereton set foot on Chilean soil only for the second time in his life.
The Chileans sang a song about Maradona with his last name, and ex-forward Pinilla promised to name his son Ben
Brereton’s first match fell on the opening match of the America’s Cup with Argentina (1: 1). It was difficult for him to prove himself in the allotted 13 minutes, but the exit did not go unnoticed. After the match, a parody of Rodrigo Bueno’s legendary song about Maradona “La mano de Dios” was posted on the official Twitter of the Chilean national team, which provoked the wrath of the Argentines.
After the winning goal against Bolivia (1: 0), the Englishman delighted the whole country. Former striker and current TV host Mauricio Pinilla tweeted that he will name his next son Ben. It is interesting that Brereton can become the heir to Mauricio in the national team.
Pinilla was the last true center-forward for the Chileans to have forgotten about such a position on the pitch. In recent years, La Roja has played with the duo Alexis Sanchez – Eduardo Vargas, in which the latter plays the role of a drawn forward or a false nine. Brereton began his career in the center of attack and is physically fit for this role – 185 centimeters and 80 kilograms.
“I love moving between defenders, finding striking positions and scoring goals.”
However, Brereton is also versatile. At Blackburn, he’s mostly on the flanks, and he’s also familiar with the role of a drawn-out striker. Chile’s head coach Martin Lasarte is currently using the Englishman as left wing instead of injured Alexis. At the America’s Cup, you could see him moving along the entire front of the attack.
In the match with Uruguay, Brereton together with Vargas organized one of the most beautiful goals of the tournament. He took Diego Godin out of the penalty area (“he took him to the dry cleaner”, as one English journalist wrote) and gave a goal pass to his partner with his heel.
At the America’s Cup, he became Brereton Diaz. His ancestors left a great cultural mark on the history of Chile.
As if trying to legitimize the appearance in the national team of an Englishman who does not speak Spanish and does not know the words of the anthem, his mother’s surname was added to his T-shirt. “Blackburn” was already in advance and began to release them on sale, and Brereton himself began to study the language with Mauricio Isla and Claudio Bravo.
In fact, no additional association of the Diaz with Chile was required. The ancestors of football players moved here from Spain at the beginning of the 20th century, and his great-grandfather Juan turned the burnt-out pottery workshop into a huge Losapenko faience factory.
The family ruled it for several decades, with a hand in the creation of the iconic Willow porcelain plates. Already the player’s grandfather Genaro went to England to study ceramics and admired the famous English porcelain Blue Willow, adapting it to Chilean traditions. Blue plates with native landscapes have been on the table of almost every Chilean and are still kept in sideboards.
In their hometown, Brereton’s mothers now want to make a museum of crockery, and invite her and her son to the opening ceremony. “This will be a huge event for the city. The Diaz family has made a huge contribution to the development of the city, ”said Mayor Penko.
While Brereton has more important things to do – preparing with Chile for the America’s Cup playoffs, where Brazil can await them.
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