© Sydney Mahlangu - Backpage PixMarcelo Allende during a Media Day at ChloorkopAuthor: Dumisani KoyanaOnly two continents have ever won the FIFA World Cup: Europe and South America. In fact, of the 21 editions of the global football showpiece, European countries have been finalists in 19 of them.
Of the eight countries to have lifted the FIFA World Cup trophy, three have been from the CONMEBOL region - Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay while the rest have hailed from UEFA – England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

Although the last four editions have been dominated by European teams, newly signed Chilean attacking midfielder, Marcelo Allende, believes Copa American teams will dominate in Qatar.
© Samuel Shivambu - Backpage PixDStv Premiership 2022/23 match against AmaZulu at Loftus Versfeld Stadium“The likes of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay currently possess some of the finest players who are dazzling for their respective teams. They have the abilities to stop any team in Qatar and I am backing the Copa American sides to win this year’s edition,” said the Mamelodi Sundown’s winger.”

The diminutive playmaker also picked the players he expects to excel in Qatar, “I am looking forward to watching Neymar and Messi play for their respective nations.
They have had an incredible season at PSG and I will not be surprised if any of them eventually win their first FIFA World Cup.”
© Samuel Shivambu - Backpage PixMarcello celebrating with teammates after a goalThe 23-year-old attacking midfielder whose full name reads - Marcelo Iván Allende Bravo, spoke about how he was named after Marcelo Salas and Ivan Zamorano, two players who etched their names into Chilean footballing history.

“We have always been blessed with incredible football talents in Chile. Although I never met Marcelo Salas and Ivan Zamorano, my parents did, and I was named after them. I was born a year after they mesmerised opponents at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France and my long-term ambition is to represent my country on the biggest stage someday,” Marcelo stated.

Allende made his debut for the Chile national team on 11 December 2021 in a 1–0 win over El Salvador. Although the two-time Copa American champions will not be in Qatar, the Sundowns attacker recalled his fondest World Cup memory.

“Whenever I think of the FIFA World Cup, I smile because there are so many great goals and matches I have watched. My fondest memory however was when Chile recorded a 2-0 win over Spain at the 2014 edition with Eduardo Vargas and Charles Aránguiz scoring,” expressed the midfielder.
© Samuel Shivambu - Backpage PixMarcello during his debut gameIt took Marcelo eight minutes to announce his arrival to the Yellow Nation as well as South African football, thanks to a debut goal in the 3-0 win over Stellenbosch in the DSTV Premiership.

“Scoring a goal in my first-ever match for the club was such a great feeling. The goal helped to settle my nerves and to give everyone a glimpse of what to expect while I am here. Not only was I happy to get onto the score sheet, I was very excited that we got all three points at the end of the match. I am looking to give my best to help Mamelodi Sundowns extend its dominance in South African football, as well as conquer the African continent and beyond,” Marcelo indicated.

On acclimatising to his new environment, the winger expressed that being away from home has not been easy “Leaving your home country to play in a foreign league can be difficult, but since I joined The Brazilians, I have been welcomed with open arms. I have adjusted very well because of the support from my teammates as well as the coaches and technical team. I also met a few guys here from South America and that has made me feel at home. Although I get to speak Spanish with them, I am learning English at the moment,” concluded Allende.
© Samuel Shivambu - Backpage PixNew season signings, Sipho Mbule and Marcelo AllendeWith a bright start to life at Chloorkop, Marcelo Allende has already engraved his name into the hearts of the Yellow Nation.
Bearing the names of Marcelo Salas and Ivan Zamorano comes with its own high expectations and thus far, the attacking midfielder has handled the pressure with sheer class.