Full Name: Arturo Erasmo Vidal Pardo
DOB: 22 May 1987 (age 27)
Height: 5 ft 11 in
When we talk about box-to-box midfielders, it is tough to find many better than Juventus’ Arturo Vidal. The Chilean native has built a reputation for being on the best in the game and he currently ranks among the top 20 players in the World. This summer in Brazil, he is set to lead Chile in what many consider to be the group of death, but will he be ready for the big show?
Vidal’s professional debut came via Chilean club Colo-Colo. It was there that he honed his talent from an early age and built a high reputation, before being signed by German club Bayer Leverkusen for $7.7 million. He spent 4 successful seasons with Bayer before moving to Italy and setting Serie A alight. Matched beside the likes of Pirlo and Paul Pogba, he has developed into a world star and one of the most complete midfielders in the game. When you consider the current line-up of all three stars in the heart of Juventus team, it rates amongst the best of any club in the world.
In terms of playing style, Vidal has a mix of qualities that not many other players in the world possess. On both sides of the ball, he has impressed and proven to be a very versatile, tenacious star. When it comes to defending, he has a nasty side that allows him to get stuck in on tackles and remind attacking players he is ready to snap at their heels. He never seems to give up and any opportunity to show his power is greatly accepted. When it comes to attacking, he is no slouch and goals are part of his game. He has amassed an impressive 28 in 95 appearances for Juve. When not sticking the ball in the net, he is dishing up assists and you only need to look back at the 2010–11 Bundesliga season, where Vidal was top of the assist chart for Bayer Leverkusen and 2nd of all players in the league. He recorded a total of 11.
And then there is his work rate, of which he shows a level of never ending energy. It is his primary asset that sets him apart from the likes of Yaya Toure and Andres Iniesta. Where both of these players have their own high performing characteristics, neither possesses the youthful spirit and enthusiasm of Vidal. As a result, the media in Italy has given him the nickname Il Guerriero (“The Warrior”).
Having undergone knee surgery in early May, the health of Vidal is in question and that could impact the overall performance of Chile. In a group that includes Netherlands and Spain, missing their influential star or having him play at less than 100% could be a huge blow. We really won’t know how he will perform until Chile line-up against Australia on June 13th. Luckily for Chile, it could be the perfect game to start with before they face up to the group’s big guns, and an ideal platform for Vidal to gauge exactly where he is fitness wise.
Arturo Vidal Currently Wears the Nike Mercurial Vapor IX
From time to time, players pop up wearing boots that you might not expect them to be wearing, and this is a prime example of that. Although he is no slouch, it is unusual to see Vidal sporting the lightweight Nike Mercurial Vapor series, designed for explosive speed. The range is better renowned with players that focus on attack and look to impose their presence in the opposition half. Vidal has the ability to create going forward, but he is more of a “general” that controls the game from his defensive box to the attacking box. There are not many other profession players in his position that choose the Vapor, so it makes him pretty unique.
If we were to discuss boots that are a more natural suit for his position, the Puma evoPOWER and the Adidas Nitrocharge are two that quickly come to mind. The latter would actually be the boot I see as the most natural choice for his style. The provide energy properties and are strongly advertised for players who fit the “Engine” mold. If Vidal was an adidas contracted player, which he actually was during his time at Bayer Leverkusen, they are likely to be the boot he would choose. As it is, he could be used at the World Cup as an example of a player who chooses the boot he is most comfortable in, rather than the boot advertised for his playing position!