Juan Antonio Pizzi felt Chile did enough throughout their time in Russia to win the Confederations Cup but has now urged his players to keep progressing as they seek to cement their status as a genuine force in world football.
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Lars Stindl’s goal in the first half of Sunday’s final in St Petersburg was enough for a young Germany team to deny the experienced South American side 1-0.
Chile have made significant strides under recent coaches Marcelo Bielsa, Claudio Borghi and Jorge Sampaoli, winning the last two editions of the Copa America and impressing at the World Cup in 2010 and 2014.
And despite the disappointment of their latest efforts going unrewarded, Pizzi’s long-term outlook remains positive.
“My idea was to give all our energy during this tournament and I was convinced that if we went back home with no energy left, it would mean that we would be full of glory,” he told a news conference.
“I thought that we would take the trophy.
“We go home full of glory, with no energy left but unfortunately without the trophy.
“It’s the first time we have had the opportunity to play this tournament.
“It’s been an amazing experience for all of us, for all the players. Even for those players who are quite experienced in our team. We all highly value the experience of this tournament.
“And I think the whole process we have followed, the whole development, means that we are really achieving a great position, a great situation in world football. We realise that other teams respect us more and more.
“But I insist we need to keep developing. We have to move on.”
Gonzalo Jara was fortunate to avoid being sent off for elbowing Timo Werner in the second half at Krestovsky Stadium, with match official Milorad Mazic seeing fit to produce only a yellow card despite the intervention of the video assistant referee.
Asked whether he thought the match was ill-tempered, Pizzi replied: “Well, it’s a final. And that’s the reason why the game is played at high intensity.
“The players are nervous on the pitch and it’s difficult to control that sort of situation.
“I think most of the reactions were maybe a little tough, but they came from the game, from the intensity and the fact they were fighting for every single ball.”