Arturo Vidal joined up with the Chilean national team with a bittersweet taste. Through courage and delivery, he is gaining prominence at Barcelona but has not yet managed to get his desired starting berth in the team. From one international break to another, 'King Arthur' has changed his image from that of a disgruntled footballer upset at being on the bench against Tottenham, to that of a professional willing to vindicate himself on the field and not in the digital world.
From Ernesto Valverde to the stands of the Camp Nou, through the squad, they see in Arturo Vidal a competitive footballer; able to give drive to the team and someone who, according to his teammates, creates a good atmosphere in the locker room. His social network fury has been left behind, at least for the moment.
Arturo Vidal hopes to enjoy Chile’s matches against Costa Rica (November 17) and Honduras (November 21). On Sunday, after the surprising Barça defeat by Real Betis, he assured reporters that his knee trouble is gone and he is only thinking about gaining Valverde's confidence.
The Chilean midfielder had set a good second half against Real Betis, after the coach had to resort to him to rectify an approach that had been overwhelmed by Quique Setién’s tactics. Arturo was impeccable on the field and in the mixed zone after.
Vidal scored a goal that opened the door for a comeback, and could have been the hero if Gerard Piqué, unintentionally, had not 'stolen' another chance for the "Gladiator”.
Because Arturo, as a footballer, corresponds on the pitch to the aggressive image he offers with his haircut and his tattoos. A more intense and complete version of the Brazilian Paulinho, whom he replaced in the squad effectively, a player that the 'Txingurri' used a lot last season.
There remains the feeling that Ernesto Valverde will offer more minutes and continuity to Vidal, a type of player who would help him in his favorite 4-4-2 formation.
In fact, on November 24, at Atlético Madrid, the former Juventus and Bayern player can have his moment. The sanction of Ivan Rakitic, the unsettled situation of Dembélé and the injury of Coutinho reduces the competition for a place. Even more so in a game like the one at the Wanda Metropolitano, which will be a scrap.
ARTHUR FOR ARTURO
The reality is that, when Arturo Vidal showed his displeasure for having no presence against Valencia in the Mestalla (1-1) and just a few minutes (12’) against Inter (2-0), he was battling against the fact that Arthur Melo, with a profile that fits the stylistic demands of Barça (touch, tactical ability, position play) had won his place in the side.
In spite of everything, the Chilean understood the calls from the club to behave himself, rectified his attitude and assumed without question his secondary role with the required intensity and delivery.
In the seven games since the last break he was only a starter in the Cup against the Cultural Leonesa (0-1, 90 minutes). He did not play against Sevilla (4-2) despite the injury of Leo Messi; and he had to replace Arthur Melo against Inter (2-0, 12 minutes), Real Madrid (5-1, 6 minutes), Rayo Vallecano (2-3, 23 minutes), Inter (1-1, 16 minutes) and Betis (3-4, 45 minutes).
A LOT IN A LITTLE TIME
In total, in that sequence of seven games he played 193 of 360 possible minutes and was only a starter in the cup, but he has contributed 2 goals and 2 assists and, above all, the feeling that if they play him he can add dynamism and verticality. He can contribute a lot in a short time. And on top of that, he completed the ‘manita’ against Real Madrid in El Clásico.
Vidal is also aiming to convince Valverde he can start in the big, decisive matches, which arrive in February and March onwards.
For the moment, the Chilean has participated in 15 of the 18 games, but he only started in 3 of them and completed 367 of the 1,620 minutes. Little baggage for a veteran (31 years old) accustomed to being a fixture in the big sides he has featured at.
Source: Sport / Juan Manuel Díaz