Expectations were high for Chile with the women’s squad entering the tournament ranked second and the men ranked fourth. With only one loss each in the opening rounds, both teams headed for the top trophy chase. Both were stopped in the semi-final match by the top ranked team. In the end, the women claimed third place overall and the men finished in fourth.
Despite high expectations, the Chilean squads remained level-headed and focused on more than winning. “All of us have had problems concerning drug use or homelessness, and street football has given each of us a chance to leave that behind us,” explained men’s captain Matias Vilches. “Thanks to football, what was once one path has now become two paths that we can go down. With football, we are going down the right path.”[one_half]
Team Chile 2016 (Men’s)
Team Chile 2016 (Women’s)
Futbol Calle (Street Football), an initiative started by football marketing agency Acción Total, is a network of street football projects that creates opportunities to deliver psycho-social development to men and women across Chile through sport. Based on a participatory and inclusive approach for vulnerable participants, it uses football as a platform for personal development.