SANTIAGO.- The Chilean national soccer team held their first practice today in Japan following a long trip that included stopovers in Paris and Tokyo before finally arriving in the city of Hirono, which has a 13 hour time difference with Chile.
The team, led by Eduardo Berizzo and Luis Bonini, arrived early in the morning Japanese time, (nighttime in Chile) and, after only a brief rest, held their first practice in Asia during the afternoon (early morning in Chile).
The Kirin Cup matches will begin next week, however the coaching staff for the national team hopes to observe the squadron, which includes newcomers Braulio Leal, José Rojas and Iquique native Edson Puch.
Jorge Valdivia joined the team's midfield after travelling directly from the United Arab Emirates to Japan. After a 29-hour long trip from Santiago, the team worked to recharge itself at the same location used in January of 2008 for the friendly matches against Japan and South Korea.
Universidad de Chile striker Miguel Pinto performed separate exercises with physical trainer Fernando Zamorano due to pelvic pain.