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Ben Brereton: The Stoke-born Blackburn striker starring versus Messi and company at the Copa America

Ben Brereton: The Stoke-born Blackburn striker starring versus Messi and company at the Copa America

 

A remarkable story to have gone somewhat under the radar in England this weekend surrounds the international endeavours of Chile star Ben Brereton.

Who is Brereton?

Ben Brereton is a striker, currently plying his trade in the Championship with Blackburn Rovers.

The 22-year-old is a product of the youth system of Stoke City, having been born in Stoke-on-Trent back in 1999.

Nothing out of the regular thus far, right? Well what if I told you that Brereton, over the course of the last week, has established himself as something of a cult hero in South America?

‘In England was born, it was God’s wish, grow and survive, check your card, have a Chilean mother, and all the town sang,’ – a rough translation of a Tweet sent out by the Chilean national team this past Friday, paying homage to the country’s latest star.

This comes after Brereton, who lined out for England at both U19 and U20 level, opted against continuing his journey with the Three Lions, to instead declare for La Roja ahead of this summer’s Copa America.

The hitman qualified for Chilean citizenship through his mother, who was born in the country.

Bolivia winner

And to say that Brereton’s senior international career has since gotten off to a positive start would be something of an understatement.

The Blackburn star was handed his debut by Chile this past Monday, appearing off the bench in a 1-1 Copa America stalemate with Argentina. Yes, Brereton took to the pitch against Lionel Messi in his first ever senior appearance for his country.

But the magic doesn’t end there. Four days later, on Friday, the talented attacker was afforded his maiden La Roja start.

And, within ten minutes, he went on to net what proved the solitary goal of a 1-0 victory over Bolivia.

A flowing Chile break, set in motion by Arturo Vidal, eventually culminated in Eduardo Vargas squaring for his strike partner, who showcased remarkable poise in cutting inside onto his right foot, before picking out the bottom corner in style:

A wonderful story, only set to be added to over the months and years ahead.

 

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This article was edited by Benjamin Newman.