Football, like all other global sports, rewards the exhibitionists more than the others. Football cherishes the goalscorers, the exhilarating shot-stoppers, and even last-ditch tacklers who make or break a game. Football, very rarely, remembers or rewards the workhorses. It hardly remembers the players who went all out to win their team the crucial matches.
Barcelona central-midfielder, Arturo Vidal, is one such undervalued asset; always working, always inspiring, and always coming up with the goods when needed. He was signed from Bayern Munich in the summer of 2018 and has spent two years at the coveted Camp Nou. The Chilean wasn’t always the first choice, but he never shied away from a challenge.
The Blaugrana paid only Є18 million for Arturo Vidal’s services, bringing him on to add a layer of steel to the famed Barcelona midfield. At 31, he wasn’t the youngest Barcelona midfielder, of course, but his endless stamina and work-rate spoke volumes about the impact he had on the pitch.
He was an exemplary leader on the pitch and a thorough motivator in the dressing room. His rather short fuse did land him in trouble on a couple of occasions, but he never let the bad outweigh the good.
Over the course of the last two campaigns, the player accumulated 96 appearances across all competitions, pitching in with 11 goals and 10 assists. Those numbers aren’t drool-worthy, of course, but they are more than enough to show the versatility of the the veteran central midfielder.
As per reports, the Chilean will be one of the big names to depart Barcelona this year. Serie A giants Inter Milan appear to be leading the race for his services, and the deal is “practically completed,” and the player could be undergoing medical by the end of the week.
With that thought in mind, let’s take a look at three of our favourite quantifiable Arturo Vidal moments at Barcelona.
#3 Winner against Real Valladolid
Barcelona haven’t had the best of fortunes over the last two years. The Blaugrana did manage to win La Liga in 2018/19 but were humiliated badly in the Champions League. Last season, the humiliation extended to La Liga as well, as Real Madrid beat their rivals to the punch to snatch the gold.
Barcelona ended the season five points behind Los Blancos, but the situation could’ve been worse had Vidal not popped up when he did on the 36th matchday in La Liga.
Until Vidal’s intervention, Barcelona were having a tough time going past the sturdy Real Valladolid defence. The Chilean helped the Blaugrana flood the Valladolid box and get the much-needed goal.
#2 Effort against Real Betis
In the 2018/19 campaign, Barcelona came up against a spirited Real Betis side in La Liga. The high-flying unit were on a roll at home and they weren’t going to let the champions dampen their spirits away from Betis. Vidal wasn’t included in the starting XI, and was only brought in in the second half after noticing the Betis onslaught.
Moments after coming on, Arturo Vidal started imposing his superiority on the players and helped Barcelona regain control in the middle. The Chile international even popped up with a goal and an assist, but his efforts, sadly, were in vain. The match ended 4-3 in favour of Betis.
#3 Goal in first Clasico
For reasons unknown, Arturo Vidal has a rather strange animosity towards Real Madrid. At Barcelona, it makes perfect sense to hate the men in white, but the Chilean had it in him for Los Blancos since his Juventus days.
So, when he finally got the opportunity to prove his love for Barcelona and add salt to Real Madrid’s gaping wound, he made sure to embrace it with open arms.
Real Madrid suffered a catastrophic 1-5 defeat at Camp Nou in the 2018/19 campaign, and Vidal, who was introduced in the dying moments of the match, added the fifth on the night.
He completed an impressive dash to the Real Madrid box before heading the ball home comfortably.