A turbulent path between the two: La Roja returns to the National Stadium with an audience after 2,566 days

The last time the national team played in the Ñuñoa Redoubt with people in the stands was before the 2017 Confederations Cup. Then, due to the pandemic and the closure of the venue of the last Pan American Games, there was an intermission in the matches. home stadium.

This Tuesday, at 8 p.m., La Roja faces Paraguay and returns to the National Stadium. He does this after four years of performing outdoors, following the renovations that the venue was receiving for the last Pan American Games in Santiago 2023. Of course, the last two matches in Ñuñoa took place without anyone in the stands, due to the Covid 19 pandemic. At the end of 2020, in an empty coliseum, the team led by Reinaldo Rueda drew Colombia 2-2 and beat Peru 2-0. Then a lot of things happened. Changes of coaches and intermittency in the rooms. The national team ended up playing the qualifiers for Qatar 2022, where they failed in their bid to reach the World Cup, in San Carlos de Apoquindo, with an intermediate stage through the Monumental.

How long has it been since the national team used the main sports venue with people sitting in the seats? 2566 days will pass between the two matches. We have to go back quite a bit on the calendar. The last time was on June 2, 2017, during a friendly match against Burkina Faso (3-0), when the team, then led by Juan Antonio Pizzi, was preparing to go to the Coupe des Confederations. Just over 25,000 spectators arrived and the goals were the work of Arturo Vidal (2) and Ángelo Sagal. Qualifications for the World Cup in Russia ended in Macul. We have to go back further to find a duel for points in Nacional: November 15, 2016, against Uruguay (3-1).

The National Stadium welcomed football fans again in 2024. Photo: Luis Sevilla

La Roja’s return to Ñuñoa is something the team has been waiting for for a long time. The one who never hid it is Alexis Sanchez. Last year’s historic scorer was already demanding a return: “We are used to playing at the National Stadium, with the people from Nacional. We were champions there (of the 2015 Copa América), we participated in two World Cups playing in this stadium, so how can you not play in my stadium to represent your country? “It has to do with management and everything that exists,” he said while the colossus was still closed.

From its closure to its reopening, La Roja added problems. It has gone from being the elite of world football to seeking to reposition itself in the continental context. At the level of the redoubts, San Carlos de Apoquindo It served during the pandemic, because with the authorized capacity it could be full and the players liked to feel the public close. Then the matches were replayed at the Monumental. There they tied 0-0 with Colombia, beat Peru 2-0 and tied scoreless against Paraguay, in 2023, with Eduardo Berrizo as coach.

Pedrero’s discomfort prompted Sánchez to raise his voice again. “You get to Colo Colo Stadium and the excrement from ourselves in the shower comes out the drain. Then we ask ourselves ‘is this the national team or a third division team?’ said Wonder Boy, in a statement that went around the world.

In the past, various factors have kept the Todos team away from Ñuñoa. The proximity of the public or the concerts led La Roja to play a few duels during the 2014 World Cup qualifiers and then in 2018 at Macul. However, he had never spent so many years away from the redoubt. It is for this reason that the ANFP anticipates that after this Tuesday, the national team will continue to have its headquarters there. “We have a project with the Ministry of Sports to play all Chile’s matches at the National Stadium. It’s a return we’ve been waiting for. We were in several stadiums and now we are going home,” Pablo Milad said.

Matches in Chile (with supporters) since the friendly match against Burkina Faso

Date Skill Result Stadium
08/31/2017 2018 Qualifying Chile 0-3 Paraguay Monumental
05/10/2017 2018 Qualifying Chile 2-1 Ecuador Monumental
11/16/2018 Friendly Chile 2-3 Costa Rica The lieutenant
11/20/2018 Friendly Chile 4-1 Honduras German Becker
06/06/2019 Friendly Chile 2-1 Haiti The cover of a magazine
02/09/2021 2022 Qualifying Chile 0-1 Brazil Monumental
10/10/2021 2022 Qualifying Chile 2-0 Paraguay San Carlos de Apoquindo
14/10/2021 2022 Qualifying Chile 3-0 Venezuela San Carlos de Apoquindo
16/11/2021 2022 Qualifying Chile 0-2 Ecuador San Carlos de Apoquindo
01/27/2022 2022 Qualifying Chile 1-2 Argentina Desert Foxes
03/29/2022 2022 Qualifying Chile 0-2 Uruguay San Carlos de Apoquindo
03/27/2023 Friendly Chile 3-2 Paraguay Monumental
06/11/2023 Friendly Chile 3-0 Cuba Ester Roa Rebolledo
06/16/2023 Friendly Chile 5-0 Dominican Republic Sausalito
09/12/2023 2026 qualifying Chile 0-0 Colombia Monumental
12/10/2023 2026 qualifying Chile 2-0 Peru Monumental
11/16/2023 2026 qualifying Chile 0-0 Paraguay Monumental

The Colosseum timeline

Since 2017, the National Stadium has undergone a series of changes. During this year, throughout 2018 and also in 2019, the University of Chile continued to operate its premises there. La Roja’s departure had other factors. Play more friendly matches in the regions, for example. But then came the complications. In 2020, the pandemic arrived. This forced us to play the start of the Qualifiers without anyone. The room was then closed.

The U filled the National Stadium. Photo: Photosport

There were intermittent openings. For example, in the 2022 College Classic, when UC beat the U, it received an audience. However, only this match could be played. Then it closed its doors. It was only at the Pan American Games that it could be filled. And it wasn’t football that people saw. In Santiago 2023 the stands were crowded to watch the athletics competitions. During this mega-event, the National Stadium Park was inaugurated, where for the first time all the developments around the central Colosseum were exposed. Football continued to wait.

At the start of 2024, the Super Cup is announced with great fanfare. With a comprehensive safety plan and news. However, the match could not be completed. As has happened on several occasions, violence seized a group of supporters and an invasion led to the suspension of the match between Colo Colo and Huachipato, as the match neared its end. A few weeks later, with the U duels in the First Division tournament, Nacional was able to fulfill its commitments. The laity exercised their locality in Ñuñoa with the exception of a duel in Concepción, played there due to the state of the turf after three concerts. Now comes Red’s turn.

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Source: Latercera

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