Charles Aranguiz is heavily indebted to Mariana Sandoval for his career. It was Sandoval, a football coach who also happens to be his mother, who persuaded her son to persevere when he was on the verge of giving up the game as a teenager.
Were it not for this maternal intervention, he would not have blossomed into the player he is today – a combative, industrious midfielder with a keen eye for a pass and nose for goal – and both the Chilean national team and Bayer Leverkusen, his current club, would be the poorer for it.
Aranguiz made his top-flight bow aged just 16 with Cobreloa. He then had stints at Cobresal, Colo Colo and Argentinian outfit Quilmes, before shooting to prominence following a 2011 move to Universidad de Chile, where he lifted four trophies under the stewardship of one Jorge Sampaoli.
By this point, he had already been handed his senior international debut by Marcelo Bielsa (in 2009), but he was omitted from the final squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
He remained on the fringes under Claudio Borghi, who chiefly fielded him at wingback, but was given centre stage when Sampaoli took up the La Roja hotseat. He promptly flourished, playing an important role on the road to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where he appeared in all four of his side's matches and scored once.
He continued to burnish his burgeoning reputation after joining Brazilian side Internacional and was a linchpin in the Chile team that won the 2015 Copa America. Though he endured a nightmare start to life at Leverkusen, being laid low by a serious injury, he worked his way back to fitness and form in time to make a similarly significant contribution to his country's 2016 Copa America Centenario conquest under Juan Antonio Pizzi, for whom he has been a regular starter.