“When one has quality and prepares themselves, they can adapt to any team,” said Arturo Vidal ahead of his first Barcelona start, the 2-2 draw with Girona at Camp Nou. The phrase caused a certain impact among Barcelona fans because the Chilean,31, avoided the false modesty often seen among players. Vidal has gone past that. He’s been through a lot and it’s mostly turned out well.
He arrived at Barca after three years with Bayern Munich, whom he joined following four years at Juventus. He’s one of the stars of the Chilean national team. And arriving as ‘Paulinho’s replacement’ he might have expected to have the same opportunities as the Brazilian. Valverde took Paulinho’s departure badly and Vidal was set to take his place, but things did not turn out as planned.
NEVER GIVE UP!!!���������������� The Best is yet to come!! Lo mejor aún está por venir!!!������������������ pic.twitter.com/urdv2Rbjgt— Arturo Vidal (@kingarturo23) 4 d’octubre de 2018
The bad injury Vidal suffered in March 2018 obliged him to start with caution at Barcelona. He also suffered pain in the same area after returning to activity. Despite that, Valverde used him in each of Barcelona’s first six games, bringing him off the bench each time - with 19 minutes against Huesca his longest participation. Too little for someone convinced he should be a starter.
Vidal played 58 minutes against Girona, thinking his luck was starting to change, but then did not feature at all against Leganes in Barca’s defeat at Butarque. That was a turning point. Vidal did not understand his absence there, it was hard to take. Valverde brought him back in against Athletic Bilbao but he could not complete the game there either.
Again he was a substitute at Wembley and Arthur took the open midfield slot in the side and impressed, earning another start against Valencia.