Saturday 01 July 2017, 16:07

Vargas: Every striker dreams of scoring a title-winning goal

  • Vargas is Chile’s third-highest goalscorer of all time

  • Knows the Germans well, having spent a season with Hoffenheim recently

  • Playing his third major final in three seasons

By Diego Zandrino with Chile 

Eduardo Vargas is a player who keeps to himself – a modest approach to life that makes him a lethal proposition for any defence. Put quite simply, he lets his goals do the talking.

And they have spoken loudly since he made his international debut in November 2009, so much so that he now stands third on the list of Chile’s all-time goalscorers.

When asked by FIFA if he has been dreaming of adding to his Roja tally by scoring the winner in Sunday’s FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 final against Germany in Saint Petersburg, the front man struggled to conceal a smile.

“Every striker dreams of scoring a title-winning goal. That goes without saying,” he said quietly but firmly, casting off his shyness for a moment. “It’s amazing to score a winner for your country, and even more so if it comes in a final.”

Asked to picture such a scene, he added: “If it happens, then there’ll probably be a thousand things going through my head. I don’t know how I’d celebrate it, who I’d go and hug or if I’d be laughing or crying. I’ll just have to wait and see if it happens. I hope it does.”

Eduardo Vargas: fact file *Age: 27 International debut: 4 November 2009 Caps: 76 Goals: 34

  • If it is to happen, Chile will have to beat Germany, who are opponents Vargas knows well, having spent the 2015/16 season at Hoffenheim. “I’m not surprised at all to see them in the final,” said the No11. “After the first match between us here we felt they were serious contenders, because they’ve got quality players. The others were Portugal, but we got them in the semis.”

Asked what Chile should be repeating from that 1-1 draw with the Germans in Kazan ten days ago, Vargas said: “We need to repeat what we did in the first half. We did a really good job, though we fell away a bit in the second.”

And where do they need to improve? “Up front,” came the reply. “We had a lot of chances and couldn’t take them. If we stay grounded and keep doing what we’ve been doing up to now, then we can come away with a good result.”

Vargas at Russia 2017 *Matches played: 4 Minutes on the pitch: 340 Goals: 1 Attempts on target: 4 Attempts off target: 5 Assists: 1*

A joint-top scorer at 2015 Copa America and the leading marksman outright at the Copa America Centenario a year later, Vargas listed three main reasons why those two final wins against Argentina differ from Sunday’s showpiece against Germany.

“First of all there’s the opposition, who are the world champions,” he explained. “Secondly, it’s our first Confederations Cup. And thirdly, because it’s a final far away from home and from our people. That gives it a different flavour, too.”