How Arturo Vidal has won the heart of the Barcelona dressing room

The Chilean has been a big hit with all his teammates this season

 Arturo Vidal se sacó un taconazo de la manga para jugar el balón desde atrás. El chileno completó un partido muy sólido ante el Rayo Vallecano | LALIGA

Juan Manuel Díaz

Arturo Vidal has gone from new face to the heart of the dressing room at Barcelona. The Chilean joined the club at a difficult moment personally and on the pitch but has taken advantage of his chances at Camp Nou. And, after a tough first few months, he's adapted to the club and is loved by his colleagues and supporters due to his professionalism and his performances. 

Speaking after this win against Rayo Vallecano (3-1), Ernesto Valverde said: "He played a great game in many senses. Firstly, because he has an incredible heart. He is always close to the box -- ours and the opponent's. Both Arturo and Busquets have sustained us at certain moments. His ball recovery [numbers] were very high." 

Evidently, Valverde was referring to Vidal's physical work. But not just that, because he doesn't just use the word 'energy', as is normal, but 'heart' as well. Vidal put his soul into everything he does. On and off the pitch. Barça needed someone to bring together the squad. Vidal's that person that jokes with Messi, Pique and Boateng and looks after Dembele. 

ADAPTION

Arturo Vidal arrived as Paulinho's replacement. The duo's characteristics show that Valverde needs a certain type of player: more direct, ready to press high, get into the box, shoot... Vidal has no problem doing that or getting back to his own box to defend. 

Vidal's problem was that he joined form Bayern Munich with a knee problem and had problems getting used to the new style. He didn't play often and complained on social media. After a chat with coach Valverde, things began to change. 

The midfielder is in good form going into the final stage of the season. His injury problems are gone and he's a key player when 4-4-2 is used. 

PERSONAL

At first, swapping Munich for Barcelona had a personal cost for Vidal. Separated from partner Maria Teresa Matus, he struggled at first until he came to an agreement for his ex to move to the Catalan city. 

Vidal's done everything he can to ensure Marité and his children are happy in Catalonia.

DRESSING ROOM

This is where he's had fewer problems. From the off, he's been well received by the squad. 

The language made it easy, with so many Spanish and South American players. His happiness and good humour's gone down well. He's played in Italy and Gemrany and jokes with German-born Ghana international Boateng, looks after Dembele and chats with Busquets, Pique and Jordi Alba. 

That ability to get on with eveyrone, like Dani Alves in his day, was necessary and Barça benefit from it. 

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