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Chile’s ‘warrior’ Vidal backtracks over retirement


Paris (AFP) – Arturo Vidal produced a 180-degree turn on Wednesday insisting he was a “warrior” who would “never abandon” Chile, just hours after seemingly announcing his retirement.

“Every time I’m called, I’ll be available to the national team,” the 30-year-old said on Twitter.

On Tuesday night, back-to-back Copa America winners Chile were knocked out of World Cup qualifying following a 3-0 defeat in Brazil.

After which, Bayern Munich midfielder Vidal appeared to announce on Twitter that his international career was over.

“Thank you lads, for everything, for all these years together… for teaching me and for showing a country that with effort and work anything is possible in life,” he wrote in Spanish, adding that his “soul is crushed”.

But less than 24 hours later, Vidal was back on Twitter pledging allegiance to his country as long as he’s wanted.

“Chile is a team of warriors. I’m proud of belonging to this group and I’ll never abandon it. We’ll carry on together right to the end,” he said.

“I’m sure that, all together, we’ll come back stronger. We never die, we’re Chilean warriors.”

Alongside Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, Vidal is one of the key members of the current golden generation of Chile players that claimed the Copa America in 2015 and 2016.

Chile, who were beaten by Brazil in the round of 16 at both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, were soundly beaten again in Sao Paulo on Tuesday.

The Chileans finished level on points with Peru in the South American qualifying table but missed out on goal difference.

The top four teams — Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia — qualified directly for the finals in Russia while Peru are through to a two-legged playoff against New Zealand.

Chile’s Argentinean manager Juan Antonio Pizzi announced his resignation following Tuesday’s disappointment.

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