MARTIN BERNETTI/Getty Images
Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal has insisted he is not retired from international football contrary to reports.
Following Chile’s defeat to Brazil on Tuesday and subsequent confirmation they will not take part in next summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, a message from Vidal on social media was assumed to confirm his retirement from La Roja duty, per Sky Sports.
But in another bulletin on Twitter, he was adamant he will continue to accept call-ups from the Copa America champions:
Arturo Vidal @kingarturo23
Un guerrero puede llorar, sentir temor y hasta decepcionarse, pero jamás se rinde ni abandona hasta la muerte!!!!💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼👊🏼👊🏼🇨🇱 https://t.co/cpJKKwxHMj
B/R Football @brfootball
Arturo Vidal has changed his mind, he’s not retiring from international football 🙌 https://t.co/d7OqwdVJzt
“This is a very difficult time, and here we will see who’s strongest,” read a section of the statement, per Ben Valentine of Goal. “Chile is a team of warriors, I feel proud to belong to this squad. And I will not abandon them. We will go together to the end. Every time I am called I will be available for my national team. Our national team.”
The news will be a small boost for Chile supporters after Tuesday’s surrender against Brazil. Chile were uncharacteristically passive in a 3-0 loss and subsequently finished down in sixth in the CONMEBOL qualifying.
For Vidal and this set of players, this result represents a rare disappointment, as La Roja have been on the rise for a while now.
In 2015, they won the Copa America for their first time in their history and did so on home soil. The following summer they repeated the trick in a special edition of the competition, celebrating its centenary.
Vidal has been one of the key components of these triumphs. As noted by Squawka Football, he’s been sensational for the South Americans down the years:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Arturo Vidal’s international record for Chile:
98 games 🏃
23 goals ⚽️
2 Copa America 🏆
Joint-sixth most capped player of all time. 🇨🇱 https://t.co/WqE8soKYGi
The Bayern Munich midfielder epitomises the manner in which this Chile side operate. His work rate and application are incredible, while he’s tactically astute and technically brilliant. Additionally, Vidal has grown into a leader at the hub of the team and is considered by plenty to be one of the most rounded footballers on the planet.
DON EMMERT/Getty Images
The decision to remain part of the setup is a big one for the 30-year-old, as travelling back and forth to South America does take its toll.
Still, it appears as though Vidal feels he still has a lot to accomplish in a Chile jersey. A century of caps is not far away, while La Roja will want to make it three in a row at the Copa America in 2019 in Brazil.
Given Vidal’s mindset, physicality and quality, it would be no surprise to see him leading Chile’s charge at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar either.