Arturo Vidal is one of our generation’s most recognisable footballers. The Chilean international is widely known for his hard challenges and defence-splitting passes, but it’s his visual appearance which is perhaps his most striking feature.
The Barcelona midfielder has amassed an impressive 12.1 million followers on Instagram where he loves showing off his tattoos, of which he has plenty. He has his 2 nicknames (Guerriero (“The Warrior”) and Rey Arturo (“King Arthur”)) tattooed on his arms, the words “never give up” on his neck, and who knows maybe even a gambling tattoo somewhere on his body!
Vidal was born in Santiago and played the first 2 season of his career in his native Chile, making 36 appearances for the country’s most successful side, Colo-Colo.
In 2007, German side Bayer Leverkusen swooped and brought Vidal over to Europe in a deal worth $11m after legend Rudi Voller spotted him on a scouting trip to South America. Vidal played 117 games for Leverkusen, scoring 15 times as Leverkusen finished runners-up in the German cup and Bundesliga during his time there.
Vidal then hit the big time as Italian giants Juventus bought him for a fee of €10.5m in 2011. His 4 years in Italy were filled with trophies as Juve won the Serie A title 4 times, the Coppa Italia once and the SuperCoppa Italiana twice.
35 goals in 124 games saw Europe’s biggest clubs again come knocking and Vidal transferred back to Germany as Bayern Munich paid €37m for his signature in 2015 – a fee which would have earnt Juve a few free spins on card registration at any casino! Vidal’s 3 years in Munich were again laiden with trophies as he won the Bundesliga title 3 times, as well as the German cup once and Supercup twice.
In 2018, Barcelona announced the signing of Vidal for a fee of €19m. His first season in Spain saw Barca win the La Liga title – an incredible 8th consecutive league title in 3 different countries, a feat that is unrivalled in modern day football.
But it’s not just club football which has been kind to Vidal. The Chilean national team won the Copa America for the first time ever in 2015 with Vidal himself scoring 3 goals in 6 games, capping it with a penalty shoot-out success in the final in Vidal’s home city of Santiago.
After winning their first title in 2015, Chile repeated the feat 12 months later as they lifted the special Copa America Centenario held in the USA. Vidal netter twice on his way to the final but missed his penalty in the shoot-out. It proved not to matter though as Chile beat Argentina on penalties for the second year running to claim their 2nd Copa America title in 2 years.
Whilst Vidal’s appearance makes him memorable, his stats (111 goals in 534 games for club and country) prove that he’s one of the best living midfielders on the planet.