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Copa America: It's a 'Pacifico Clasico' as Chile play Peru in semis

Santiago: The latest installment of one of South American football's fiercest rivalries plays out at the Copa America on Monday when hosts Chile face Peru with a place in the final at stake.

Peru's players take part in a training session at the National Stadium in Santiago. Pic/AFP
Peru's players take part in a training session at the National Stadium in Santiago. Pic/AFP 

Matches between the two neighbors are known as the "Clasico del Pacifico" and are played against a backdrop of historical enmity that dates back more than a century to the 1879-1883 War of the Pacific.

Chile and Peru also fought a long-running legal battle over the two nations' disputed maritime border.

On the football field, at least, the rivalry began in 1935, but the animosity pre-dates that first encounter by several decades.

Most famously, differences of opinion remain to this day over which country is responsible for the invention of the bicycle kick. Chileans say they invented it in a 1914 match, christening the overhead volley as 'La Chilena.'

Peruvians see it differently, arguing that in fact it was first tried in the port city of Callao in the late 1800s, being given the name, 'La Chalaca.'

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