Described by Jorge Sampaoli as an “all-rounder”, Eugenio Mena played under the former Chile coach at Universidad de Chile in 2011 and 2012, during which time the club won four trophies, the Copa Sudamericana among them. Though Mena hardly featured in that team, Sampaoli knew he could rely on him if needed.

The defender has since proved his dependability for the national team, running out in his natural position of left-back, while also filling in on the left side of midfield, man-marking as part of a three-man defence and even forming one half of a defensive pivot.

An admirer of Roberto Carlos, Mena has made a name for himself thanks to his ability to get forward, his strength and his commitment, qualities that have helped him excel over the last four years in Brazil, the home of buccaneering full-backs.

Mena began his career at Santiago Wanderers and played a prominent part as they earned promotion to the Chilean top flight in 2009, a year in which he also helped Chile win the Toulon Tournament.

Those successes earned him a call-up from Marcelo Bielsa for a match against Ukraine in August 2010.

Claudio Borghi also called on Mena’s services, though it was under Sampaoli that he produced his very best form for his country, playing all four of Chile’s matches at Brazil 2014 and making another four appearances at the 2015 Copa America.

Though Mena has not featured so prominently under Juan Pizzi, he still collected a winner’s medal at the 2016 Copa America Centenario and has consolidated his place as a dependable squad member.