Midfielder Diaz left out of Chile squad for World Cup qualifiers
Santiago: Veteran Pumas UNAM midfielder Marcelo Diaz has been left out of Chile's national football team for pivotal World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Brazil next month.
The former Hamburg and Celta Vigo player has been a key member of the country's so-called golden generation, which led the Roja to back-to-back Copa America titles in 2015 and 2016, reports Xinhua news agency.
As expected, Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez and Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal were included in the Roja's preliminary 19-man squad. Coach Juan Antonio Pizzi told a news conference he plans to add locally based players to the group in the coming days.
"We believe that the players that have been selected for these matches have the characteristics that we need to carry out our plan," Pizzi said.
Chile will host Ecuador in Santiago on October 5 before playing Brazil away in the South American zone's last qualifier five days later.
Pizzi's side, currently sixth in CONMEBOL's 10-team standings, must win both matches and rely on other results going their way to secure a berth in Russia next year.