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Captain Bravo speaks for a nation

  • “The applause from the fans tells you a lot,” Bravo said after final loss
  • Praise for Germany and a call for La Roja to look to the future
  • Bravo delighted to win the adidas Golden Glove

Giving interviews is always a pleasure when you are on the winning side, and a chore when you are not. But one man who never shies away from the microphone in defeat is Chile’s Claudio Bravo, who once again showed on Sunday evening why he wears the captain’s armband.

Emerging nearly two hours after his side’s 1-0 defeat to Germany in the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 final, the Roja keeper agreed to FIFA’s request for an interview. Clutching the adidas Golden Glove in his hands, he was asked if he felt his side were winners in defeat.

“I’d go along with that,” he replied, “but there’s still that bitter taste in the mouth because we came up just short.” Bravo, who did his bit to keep Chile in the final after they had fallen behind, added: “We played some good football and created lots of chances, but we just lacked that killer instinct in front of goal.”

Full of praise for the Germans, he said: “You have to congratulate them. They’re a very solid side in every department and they have a very clear idea of what they want to do. Even so, we’re going away with the feeling that it could have been us posing with the trophy for the cameras.”

Spoken like a true captain
So what was the first thing the skipper said to his team-mates back in the dressing room? “That we should be proud and at ease with ourselves too,” he replied. “I think the round of applause we got from everyone at the end spoke volumes. We wanted to play good football and dictate the pace right from the start.”

Refusing to apportion blame for Chile’s narrow defeat, Bravo added: “The goal that decided it was unfortunate but we’re leaving here relaxed in our minds. We’ve been very professional throughout the tournament and we’ve shown how much quality we have. We have to learn from this defeat. When you play well you usually win.”

As the keeper went on to explain, there are many lessons for Chile to learn, most of them to do with looking forward: “We can’t ease up. We have to think about what we’re doing and not the other team and we have to try to improve, to approach games with the same grounded and professional approach we’ve had since day one.”

In his view, Chile could also learn a thing or two from others: “You have to pick up things from the big teams, who are always in finals and winning big trophies. That’s the only way you can keep on competing at this level – to keep on playing matches like today’s and doing our national team proud.”

Important recognition
Just as he was at the 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa America Centenario, Bravo was named the best goalkeeper of the competition, and this after missing his side’s opening two matches, against Cameroon and Germany.

“It’s an important award,” he said of his Golden Glove accolade. “It’s been a tough time for me because I came here not knowing if I’d be able to play. I hadn’t played for quite a while and I’d been injured too. That’s why I’m very happy to accept it. I’m sad, though, that we didn’t achieve the most important thing, which was to lift the title.”

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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