July 19, 2022 #ChileGlobal

Top 10 in sports: The boy wonder, the King and the engineer top the ranking of Chile's best-known sports figures in the world

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Our country is recognized for its sports performance around the world, but who are the most outstanding at a global level? Fundación Imagen de Chile reveals the top 10, where soccer and tennis figures stand out.

Chile's talent is recognized worldwide, especially in the sports area, where we have exponents who give their best in different disciplines. According to the most recent perception study conducted by Imagen de Chile, soccer players Alexis Sánchez and Arturo Vidal, and coach Manuel Pellegrini top the list of the most outstanding worldwide.

"Soccer continues to be the most massive sport and is a great ambassador of the Chile brand in the world since the golden generation of soccer, which had several representatives in the major European leagues," says Constanza Cea, executive director of Imagen de Chile. "Chileans have celebrated great achievements that sport has given us, such as two America Cups in soccer, two Olympic gold medals in tennis and even a FIFA award for the best goalkeeper of 2022 for Christiane Endler," says Constanza Cea, executive director of Imagen de Chile.

Chileans are proud of the performance of our athletes, but how much do they know about them abroad? The survey conducted by Imagen de Chile on the perception of the main exponents of Chilean sports in 12 cities around the world (Toronto, Washington, Tokyo, New York, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Sao Paulo, London, Shanghai, New Delhi and Dubai) showed the following top 10:

  1. Alexis Sánchez - soccer player
  2. Arturo Vidal - soccer player
  3. Manuel Pellegrini - soccer coach
  4. Marcelo Salas and Iván Zamorano - former players
  5. Claudio Bravo - soccer player
  6. Gary Medel - soccer player and Fernando Gonzalez - former tennis player
  7. Marcelo "Chino" Rios - former tennis player
  8. Christiane Endler - soccer player and Christian Garín - tennis player
  9. Ben Brereton - soccer player
  10. Nicolás Massú - former tennis player

Inter Milan striker Alexis Sanchez tops the list with 55% worldwide recognition, but only 31% of respondents knew that the wonderkid was Chilean. With 51% he is followed by midfielder Arturo Vidal, where 21% were aware of King's nationality. In both cases, the city where they are best known is Dubai.

Third place goes to soccer coach Manuel Pellegrini, who is recognized by 49% of the sample. The city where he is most recognized is Madrid (79%), which responds to the engineer's career as manager of Real Madrid and other Spanish teams, such as Villarreal, Malaga and currently with Real Betis, with which he won the Copa del Rey this year. The captain of La Roja, Claudio Bravo, goalkeeper of the same Real Betis, is number five on the list with 45% recognition, where his 82% knowledge in Dubai is surprising, while in the European markets, where he has played, he has a lower knowledge (London, 50% and Madrid, 48%).

"It is impressive the ability of our soccer representatives to transcend worldwide. The top five places are occupied by soccer, and only in sixth place appears the tennis player Fernando González, Olympic medalist and one of the athletes who has reached the highest level in the world, and despite the great successes that figures like Tomás González in gymnastics, Joaquín Niemann and Mito Pereira in golf or Sammis Reyes in American soccer, to name just a few, do not manage to appear in the top 10 of the most recognized," said Constanza Cea. "Another phenomenon is the Za-Sa duo, which marked an era for Chilean soccer, playing in the most important European leagues. Both appear tied in fourth place in the ranking (47%) despite having retired from professional soccer more than a decade ago, and that shows their capacity to be remembered," added Constanza Cea.

Sixth place is shared by soccer player Gary Medel and former tennis player Fernando González, who reached 43% awareness. Tennis is also positioned with former world number one, Marcelo "Chino" Ríos, with 40% and women's soccer also made it into the ranking with Christiane Endler, the goalkeeper of La Roja Femenina and the best goalkeeper in the world according to The Best (39%), sharing the eighth position with tennis player Christan Garin.


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