The Chilean miners who survived 69 days underground in 2010, have endorsed the country's World Cup soccer team to beat the “group of death.”
The miners appear in a video ad released by the Bank of Chile, standing arm-in-arm in a lineup next to the mine that they were rescued from.
Video courtesy of Banco de Chile
Mario Sepulveda, the public face of the miners, delivers a rousing speech about overcoming adversity and expressing support for the national soccer team. “In this world if you are Chilean, nothing is impossible,” Sepulveda says. “It might be difficult, but we'll fight until we die.”
'Chile will not only pass to the second round, but it will surprise everyone.'
The miners then gather sand from the Atacama Desert to send to the team to sprinkle on the ground where they play.
In the first round of the World Cup, Chile will face off against defending champions Spain and 2010 finalists Netherlands. Alongside Australia, the fourth team in the group, they are widely seen as underdogs.
The Chilean miners have become national celebrities in the four years since they were trapped underground. Sepulveda, who led the group to safety, has become a breakout star, also known as "Super Mario." Antonio Banderas is reportedly set to play him in the movie adaptation of the story of the collapsed mine and a rescue mission that caught the attention of the world.
"There are harder things in life and you can conquer them,” Sepulveda told the Associated Press. “Chile will not only pass to the second round, but it will surprise everyone."
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