Gary Medel's unique brilliance in Chile's CONMEBOL Copa America™️ back-to-back titles2023-08-03
- ‘El Pitbull’ Medel was crowned champion of America with the Chilean national team in 2015 and 2016.
- On August 03, 2023, Gary Medel celebrated his 37th birthday.
Gary Medel was born on August 3rd, 1987, in the city of Santiago, Chile, a country he represented at the highest level and with which he won the 2015 CONMEBOL Copa America™️ as well as the Centenary edition in 2016.
Acknowledged for his powerful on-field presence, unwavering dedication, and exceptional defensive skills, he stood out during the golden era of ‘La Roja’.
He made his debut with the Chilean national team in a friendly match against Argentina on April 19th, 2007, ahead of the CONMEBOL Copa America™️ scheduled to take place in Venezuela that year. Medel was unfortunately absent in this edition as he was playing in the U20 World Cup.
His first involvement in the world’s oldest continental tournament would come in the following edition, held in Argentina in 2011. By that point, he had already played in the South American qualifiers and participated in his first FIFA World Cup the year before, in South Africa.
In that year’s CONMEBOL Copa America™️, he was a starter in all Group Stage matches, as well as in the quarter-finals against Venezuela, where ‘La Roja’ was knocked out of the competition.
– 2015 CONMEBOL Copa America™️ –
It was in the 2015 edition, hosted in his own country, that ‘El Pitbull’ claimed his first championship. Once again, he played in every match and scored an incredible goal in the final round of the Group Stage, against Bolivia. In a remarkable display of skill, he swiftly entered the penalty area, controlled the ball with his chest and chipped it over the opposing goalkeeper.
In the quarter-finals, Chile eliminated Uruguay with a closely fought 1-0 victory, and in the semifinals, they defeated Peru 2-1 to secure a spot in the final match against Argentina.
The Chileans faced the Argentines at their home ground in the final, which ended in a goalless draw after extra time and was decided in a thrilling penalty shootout. Chile emerged victorious with a 4-1 score, clinching the CONMEBOL Copa America™️ title for the first time in history.
Medel was a key part of the Chilean defence throughout the tournament. His versatility allowed him to play both as a central defender and as a defensive midfielder, providing stability and strength in the defensive line.
– CONMEBOL Copa America Centenario™️ –
In the CONMEBOL Copa America Centenario™️, held in the United States in 2016, Gary Medel once again stood out as a key player for the Chilean national team, who succeeded in winning the tournament for the second consecutive edition.
In the Group Stage, Medel once again showcased his importance in the contests against Argentina, where Chile suffered a 2-1 defeat, in the triumph against Bolivia by the same score, and in the final match, where they overcame Panama with a 4-2 victory.
In the quarter-finals against Mexico, Gary delivered another exceptional performance, aiding his teammates in restraining the Mexican offense, while the Chileans achieved a historic 7-0 triumph. Then, in the semifinals, Chile defeated Colombia 2-0 to secure a spot in the final, where they would face a well-known opponent.
The Chileans would meet Argentina in the final for the second consecutive time, this instance on neutral ground. The outcome also remained the same, a 0-0 draw after extra time, leading to a decision through penalties. Subsequently, the Chilean team secured their second Copa America championship, prevailing over the Argentines 4-2 in the shootout.
Following the back-to-back titles, Medel also took part in the 2019 and 2021 editions of the CONMEBOL Copa America™️. Furthermore, he represented Chile in the World Cups in South Africa (2010) and Brazil (2014), along with the 2017 Confederations Cup, where Chile advanced to the final.
Gary Medel has had an exceptional career and continues to etch his name in history with the Chilean national team, establishing himself as one of the most iconic footballers of ‘La Roja’s’ golden era. To this day, he keeps showing unparalleled passion and dedication in every game he plays.