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Since September, Chile's 44 professional football teams have been fully engaged in voting for their FIFA FIFPro World XI, an ideal team starring the best in the world, position by position.

The composition of the professional teams indicates a figure of close to 1200 football players in the Primera, Primera B and Segunda divisions. So far, more than half of these sportsmen have already voted, in spite of the geographical reality of Chile, where teams are scattered all along the total length of the country—more than 5200 kilometres. As a matter of fact, the distance from the most northerly team (San Marcos de Arica) to the southernmost (Puerto Montt) is 3078 km.

The Chilean Professional Football Players' Union, Sifup, situated in the capital, Santiago, has established three ways for votes to be cast for the FIFPro World XI. The first, for teams located in Santiago or its environs, is by attending their own changing rooms, the second, for regional teams visiting Santiago, is by voting in their team hotels, and the third is by mailing in their votes, the subsequent collection being coordinated with club captains.

Sifup has carried on a successful voting campaign up to now, and has appointed Friday 24 October as the day for all votes to be sent to FIFPro, aiming to get all the voting slips to FIFPro's head office before 1 November. Sifup hopes this year to beat the record of nearly 500 votes submitted in 2013.

Participation by the football players has been key in striving for this objective. Voting averages per team have been better than in the previous year so far, and great interest in taking part in this election has been noted on the part of the players.

There could be various reasons for this, but among the most important is the prestige achieved by some Chilean football players in recent years, who may well be voted for by their compatriots today.

"In contrast to previous years, there are Chileans who play in the world's best clubs, and they may be among those getting the most votes. Men like Claudio Bravo, Arturo Vidal and Gary Medel, have put up extraordinary performances and these are names that we shall try to help get into the world's top team", explained Gonzalo Fierro, captain of Colo Colo and current champion of Chilean football, before casting his vote.

Another reference figure in the monarchy of Latin American national football to choose his FIFA FIFPro World XI was Justo Villar. This 37-year-old Paraguayan, who played in the World Cup in Germany in 2006 and in South Africa in 2010, explained that for him the World Cups were the major factor he considered when assembling his team. “I look mainly at the performance players have shown over the last six months, and, as the World Cup is the most important event in the year, I think it gets much more consideration when you cast your vote”.

Colo Colo was one of the teams to vote most recently. In fact, it was the twenty-eighth team in Chile to contribute its votes after finishing its practice on Wednesday 8 October in the Monumental Stadium.

Of the visits to the changing rooms and training centres deployed all along Chile, one of the most colourful was that made to Everton, a team that trains in the vicinity of Viña del Mar, a city located 120 kilometres away from Santiago. During practice, such was the willingness of the team and training staff that some football players even voted while enjoying recovery therapy in the club clinic, while others, like the Argentine Maximiliano Ceratto, did so right on the field in the middle of a stretching session before the practice ended.

Conversations, discussions and questions on how to spell this or that name have continued in Chile, but greater awareness and readiness to take part in this year's FIFA FIFPro World XI process were observed in the players.

Sifup hopes to close its vote-collecting campaign successfully in the next two weeks. It is waiting to add the 17 remaining clubs to the 27 that have already participated, making up the complete total of 44 teams.