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Chile recall Salas to World Cup squad

© Reuters Limited 2001

SANTIAGO, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Chile, who are out of the running for a place at next year's World Cup finals, recalled striker Marcelo Salas on Thursday for this month's qualifying match at home to Bolivia.

Salas has not played for his country since last November's 2-0 home defeat by Argentina because of a knee injury.

But coach Pedro Garcia is looking for the Lazio striker to be the team's new leader as he rebuilds the side following the international retirement of Ivan Zamorano.

Chile are ninth in the South American World Cup qualifying group with 10 points from 13 games, having lost their last six matches. The top four teams qualify for Japan and South Korea and the fifth plays off against Oceania region winners Australia.

Garcia announced sweeping changes to the squad which reached the quarter-finals of last month's Copa America in Colombia, substituting nearly half the players.

"I want to see what other options there are," said the coach, whose only wins since replacing Nelson Acosta in March came at the Copa America against Ecuador and Venezuela.

Bolivia, seventh with 13 points, are also effectively out of the running for a top five place.

Chilean officials are planning to reduce ticket prices to avoid the match being played in an empty stadium.

Goalkeepers - Sergio Vargas (Universidad de Chile), Nelson Tapia (Puerto Montt)
Defenders - Mauricio Pozo (Cobreloa), Francisco Rojas (Sturm Graz), Fernando Solis (Union Espanola), Rodrigo Perez (Cobreloa), Mauricio Aros (Universidad de Chile), Jorge Vargas (Reggiana), Pedro Reyes (Auxerre), Luis Fuentes (Cobreloa), Rodrigo Barrera (Wanderers)
Midfielders - Luis Chavarria (Universidad de Chile), Marco Villaseca (Colo Colo), Rodrigo Melendez (Cobreloa), Esteban Valencia (no club), Rodrigo Valenzuela (Leon)
Forwards - Marcelo Salas (Lazio), Cristian Montecinos (Ali Wafl), Marcelo Corrales (San Felipe), Claudio Nunez (UNL-Tigres).

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