By Olamide Samson Olalekan
Arturo Erasmo Vidal Pardo, is a professional football player who plays for the Chile national team and the La Liga giants FC Barcelona.
He joined FC Barcelona in the summer transfer window of the 2018/2019 season from Bayern Munich where he played for three years.
There are some amazing facts about Vidal, these facts are listed below.
- Was born on the 22nd of May, 1987; Arturo Vidal shares the same birthday with some notable men like former European Footballer of the Year, George Best, Composer Richard Wagner, Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and also Novak Djokovic.
- Growing up: He was raised in San Joaquin, a working-class commune in Santiago. Vidal had a difficult childhood experience which was circled around poverty. He explored every possible and positive means to put monies in his pocket. From the age of nine, he would skip school, hop on his bicycle and pedal up to six miles to the prestigious Santiago’s horse racetrack. This was where he hustled for his daily bread. There, he would feed the horses and muck out their stables for little monies.
- The making of a warrior: After featuring in the colours of Rodelindo Roman in his local neighbourhood, Vidal joined Santiago icons Colo Colo aged 12 under youth coach Hugo Gonzales, he flourished, eventually helping the side win three successive championships. And why did he start playing the game? “I liked football and wanted to help my family”, he said
- Those closest to him, notably his mother, Jacqueline, whose face he has tattooed on his right arm, helped forge the unflinching character that has taken Vidal to the top of the world game.
“She always told me to be consistent in everything I do, and fight for what I want. Always,” said Vidal, whose refusal to know when he is beaten makes him an opponent’s worst nightmare. “Training or match, it doesn’t make a difference: I run and want to win. It’s the same in life”, he added.
- Joined Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen in 2007 and played there for four years. Shortly after he had shone at the 2007 Under-20 World Cup in a side also featuring Alexis Sanchez and Gary Medel.
Chile had finished third in Canada, but the deal for the South American nation’s then-most expensive football export had been “sorted out before” the tournament, according to Vidal himself.
And why Leverkusen? “I chose Leverkusen after [sporting director] Rudi Völler came to Chile in the spring of 2007,” revealed Vidal.
- Life continues at Turin; Juventus were not the only team to take note, but the Turin giants beat the likes of Bayern Munich to Vidal’s signature in 2011, because he “wanted to come to Italy, it was my dream.”
He also fulfilled those of Juve fans as he contributed to four successive scudetti and cleared up the question over his best position. “He can play at left-back or right-back, as an anchor man or an attacking midfielder. He has so much potential,” Völler had said of Vidal when he moved to Germany.
He had played virtually all of those positions, but used by then-Juve boss Antonio Conte in a three-man midfield with the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba and Claudio Marchisio, Vidal was finally a round peg in the right hole. “Vidal runs for four,” said Marchisio admiringly.
- The tattooed man; Vidal’s wildly successful spell in Italy provided the inspiration for some of the tattoos inked on his body: four stars representing the quartet of national titles he claimed and, just above the waistband of his shorts, the words ‘Il campione’, the champion in Italian.
‘Familia’ is written on his neck, as are his initials, while ‘Rey Arturo’ — King Arturo, another of his nicknames — features on an arm. The most meaningful perhaps is that of an insulin pump on his stomach, a tribute to his son, Alonso, who suffers from Type 1 diabetes
- The Hero of Chile; One of his calves bears the Chile flag, representative of his nation’s 2015 Copa America win — a triumph Vidal inspired — and he again played a central role in his country retaining their crown in the centenary edition a year later.
Vidal has been an iconic figure since becoming a regular in Chile’s senior squad under Marcelo Bielsa ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He played in South Africa and again in Brazil four years later, but will not be in Russia next summer after he and his team-mates missed out.
That heartbreak may have been a blessing in disguise for Chile as it caused Vidal to do a U-turn on his decision to quit international football.
“Chile is a team of warriors and I’m proud to be a part of it. I won’t abandon them,” said Vidal after October’s disappointing final qualifier, a month after announcing he would be leaving the international stage. “I’ll be available for my team – our team – whenever I’m called on.”
- Warrior back to Bundesliga; The Bundesliga’s record champions finally got their man in 2015 when Vidal moved to Munich. “He’s a winner with an exceptional attitude. With his tackling, his goal threat and his flexibility, he’ll do us good,” is how Bayern’s then-sporting director Matthias Sammer described his club’s über-versatile acquisition.
“There are no doubts about Vidal’s quality,” said former Bayern boss Pep Guardiola
- The Fearless Vidal; You get the impression ‘doubt’ is not a word Vidal uses much. The confidence brought by merely looking at the Aladdin’s cave of winner’s medals he has picked up in his career is underpinned by a built-in belief in himself. Conte saw it and made him Juventus’ designated penalty-taker, quite a statement in a team that also featured Pirlo.
It did cause a little ripple in the Bayern pond though when three games into his career in Munich, the new signing thought he should be taking the spot-kicks.
“We have a clear pecking order for penalties,” Arjen Robben said having pointed out the same thing to Vidal on the pitch against Leverkusen in August 2015. “Thomas [Müller] is taker number one, I’m number two. But it’s good that Arturo also wanted to take it. It’s better than everyone being scared.”
I believe Arturo Vidal will be a great signing for the La Liga champions, Barcelona. Playing alongside Sergio Busquet in a 4-2-3-1 formation will bring about stability to their midfield, and give the likes of Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele the freedom to perform magic upfront.
SOURCE: The Bloomgist/Bondesliga