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Luis Enrique backs under-fire De Gea


Jorge Sampaoli proud despite exit

Jorge Sampaoli insisted his Chile side had "written football history" despite exiting the World Cup after losing to hosts Brazil on penalties.

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The round of 16 clash had to be decided on spot kicks after the teams were level at 1-1 after extra time.

Chile had spoken of their belief that they could go all the way this summer after beating 2010 champions Spain in the group stage, but Sampaoli was still proud of the way his team performed.

"I am very proud of my players and proud for Chile," he said. "The national team has represented the nation very well. What I care about is the fact that my team fought very hard and played well for 120 minutes.

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Brazil wins 3-2 on Penalty Kicks.Match 49
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"We thought that this game would end differently. We didn't think we would go to the penalty shootout and we were looking forward to winning this game.

"I think the players have written football history because they have represented our country in a beautiful and amazing way. If we had been able to score, the afternoon would have been much better.

"Today, we're sad and we're hurt, but after some time, we will be able to appreciate the value of the national team that played against the local favourites.

"I always try to tell my players that we are at par with other teams and that we can face them. They can fight and defy history, and this is why our matches have been so intense.

Chile came close to eliminating the hosts but were defeated on penalties.

"We have to keep going along that path because in this group, we have wonderful players who have given everything. They risked their physical wellbeing for Chile. Chile can feel very proud of what this national team has done. They have defended our colours with pride and bravery."

However, he added: "I don't believe in moral victories. Our team nearly won today, but we didn't get any points from that. Moral victories don't count. We've been able to play even games. We were at par with these teams, but we lost today. This is the nature of our sport."

While Brazil spent much of the match on the front foot, Sampaoli felt they had struggled to carve out clear chances.

"Brazil didn't risk anything and didn't create so many goal opportunities," he said. "They didn't press and I think we nearly won this match."

Indeed, Chile might have snatched the victory at the death when Mauricio Pinilla crashed his shot against the crossbar, but Sampaoli now feels Luiz Felipe Scolari's side could go on to win the tournament as a result of the confidence this victory will give them.

"They're very difficult and are compact," he said. "They can create opportunities. There are reasons to believe they might win, but we'll see what happens. We have been able to give them a fright, but they will feel better and more confident after today's victory."


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