Name: Arturo Vidal
Current club: Juventus
Position: Central midfielder
Age: 26 years old
Most Recent Transfer Fee: €10.5 million
Nickname: Il Guerriero (The Warrior)
Footballers are rarely humble beasts and Arturo Vidal is no different. During a recent interview with German newspaper BILD, the Chilean international was quoted as saying:
“It’s simple: In my position I’m the best in the world.”
Arrogant or correct? Probably a mix of both. The Juventus midfielder went on to say in the interview:
“There are many players who try to play like me in that position, copying me a little bit. But I keep saying it, I’m the best in my position because no one can defend like me and score as many goals as I do.”
There is no doubt that Vidal is an incredible talent. During his team in Italy with Juventus, Vidal has became a household name, being linked with some of the biggest clubs in the world, like Manchester United and Real Madrid. Would it be a good move for the player?
Financially? Absolutely, but a move away from the ‘Old Lady’ and a change in style is not required for the midfielder, Serie A suits his game and at Juventus he may just go on to be a European Champion.
Colo Colo to European Football
Vidal, a versatile box-to-box midfielder, has blossomed into one the most complete and consistant midfielders in world football. Combining an incredible engine with work-rate and excellent technical ability, Vidal is never scared to go in for a tough challenge. With a terrific eye for goal, he always seems to put in the big performances in key games and has scored some very important goals throughout his career.
Vidal’s senior career began back in Chile in 2006 when he made his debut for Colo Colo against rivals Universidad de Chile. He was a key member of the team that made it to the final of the Copa Sudamericana (the South American UEFA Cup), scoring 3 goals in the process. Fantastic performances for Colo Colo lead to Bayer Leverkusen showing interest in the player as Rudi Völler, Bayer’s Director Of Football, personally flew to Chile in order to secure Il Guerriero’s signature. In the Summer of 2007, Bayer agreed a deal worth €5 Million to bring the young Chilean to the BayArena. Vidal’s impressive performances over the next few seasons for Leverkusen alerted a number of top clubs who were interested in signing him.
Vidal finally made the move to Juventus in 2011 for a fee around €10.5 Million, an absolute bargain for the ability he posseses. Since his move to the Old Lady, he has seemingly reached the peak of his powers as a player, becoming a key figure in the Juventus squad and arguably just as important as the great Pirlo himself. Vidal’s goal-scoring record is particularly impressive for a midfielder, with an excellent 27 goals in 83 competitive appearances for the Bianconeri. He’s quickly become a fan favourite amongst the Juve supporters and has been praised all over Italy for his consistent all round displays.
Vidal was the driving force behind the Old Lady’s first official Scudetto in 9 years, with his form vital to the crowning of Juventus as the champions of Italy in 2011/12 as well as last season. Whenever Vidal has been off form, injured or suspended, Juventus have struggled which is more evidence of how important he is to the team.
This season, Vidal has been ever present for Juventus, impressing in Serie A as well as in the Champions League. Domestically he has scored 10 goals in 18 (2) appearances and contributed 5 assists to the cause. The Chilean has completed an average of 47 passes per game with an 84% success rate and has crucially made an average of 4.6 tackles per game. It shows how important both in an attacking sense and defensively he is to the Italian champions.
In the Champions League the midfielder has an incredible, 5 goals in 6 games but was unable to help Juventus qualify for the last 16. They will take their place in the knockout stage of the Europa League, where they will be one of the favourites to win the tournament. Could this be the Chilean’s first taste of European glory?
For me Arturo Vidal is one of those players, like Juan Roman Riquelme, who is criminally underrated. The type of player that doesn’t get the plaudits lavished on Xavi or Gerrard or even Bastian Schweinsteiger, but it’s hard to find a more complete midfielder than Vidal. Who knows, with Juventus resurgence in the last few years maybe he will finally get the recognition he deserves.
Do you agree with Marek’ take on Arturo Vidal? Is he the best midfielder in the world?
Let us know @90MinuteCynic, on Facebook or comment below.
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All stats taken from WhoScored.com