Clarity over Sheffield United striker's international call as coach refutes claims

Ben Brereton Diaz received a delayed call-up to the Chile international squad having initially been left out

The coach of the Chile national team has refuted suggestions that Ben Brereton Diaz was left out of his squad because his Spanish wasn't good enough.

Ricardo Gareca recalled the Sheffield United loanee last week after an initial snub, with Chile suffering injuries up front, and ahead of the side's double-header with Albania and France, the coach explained that the language barrier was not the reason for Diaz's exclusion in the first instance.

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Speaking to TNT Sport, he said: I have always been clear on the concepts, the fact that there are different interpretations is not my responsibility. Interpretations are made according to how they want to make them.

“I said that being in a Spanish-speaking national team, he will speak Spanish because it helps in coexistence, but it is not a condition for a call-up. We saw it was a good opportunity to call him up and that’s how it happened. That’s what I said at the press conference about Ben.”

Gareca did admit however, that communication was a slight issue as Diaz continues to learn the language, a couple of years following his first call-up with the Stoke-born forward's eligibility coming from his mother's side.

He added: “When I had a personal talk it was always with a translator, but apparently he understood my instructions, but you have to speak very slowly and in general in football you don’t speak slowly. Interpreting is important and hopefully I’m getting better and better prepared in that respect.”

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Brereton Diaz is on loan at Sheffield United after making the move from Villarreal in January following a struggle to find his feet in La Liga among a number of managerial changes since moving from Blakburn in the summer.

He has since gone on to score twice in four Premier League appearances for the Blades.

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