Chile forward Fabian Ariel Orellana may have struck just twice during his country’s successful 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifying campaign, but both goals will live long in the memory of La Roja’s followers. The first clinched a 1-0 win over Argentina in Santiago, the first time Chile had ever beaten La Albiceleste in FIFA World Cup qualifying action, and the second came in the 4-2 away win against Colombia in Medellin which sealed La Roja’s spot at this summer’s finals.
These goals earned Orellana a place in the hearts of Chilean football followers despite never having played for one of his homeland’s traditional big clubs. Indeed, three years after making his debut for modest outfit Audax Italiano, he was snapped up by Italy’s Udinese in mid-2009, who sent him on loan to La Liga club Xerez for the duration of the 2009/10 season.
On a curious note, after being voted the competition's fourth best player following Chile’s runners-up finish at the 2008 Toulon International Youth Tournament, Orellana’s speed, trickery, finishing ability and slim frame saw him nicknamed the ‘White Robinho’ in honour of the Brazilian superstar.
Those displays on French soil led to Chile supremo Marcelo Bielsa granting him a greater number of opportunities during South Africa 2010 qualifying, with Orellana quickly proving himself up the task of filling in for flying forward Alexis Sanchez. His vital goals repaid Bielsa’s faith, and his reward is a place on the plane to this summer’s showpiece.