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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 24 February, 2019

Vidal so soon? Bayern star to quit international football after Chile's World Cup failure

The 30-year-old says his “soul is crushed” after Chile fell short.

Image: Luis Hidalgo

ARTURO VIDAL IS set to retire from international football, insisting that his “soul is crushed” after Chile failed to qualify for next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Due to suspension, the 30-year-old midfielder was absent for his country’s final shot at qualification last night. The reigning Copa America holders lost 3-0 to Brazil, which saw them miss out on a play-off against New Zealand on goal difference.

Vidal, who joined Bayern Munich from Juventus in 2015, posted a farewell message on Twitter after winning 97 caps for Chile.

“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,” Vidal wrote in Spanish.

Alongside the likes of Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez, Vidal was part of a golden generation of Chile players that claimed the Copa America in 2015 and 2016. However, they were beaten by Brazil in the second round at both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.

In the South American standings for 2018 World Cup qualification, Chile finished level on points with Peru, who secured a two-legged play-off against New Zealand next month by virtue of their superior goal difference.

Juan Antonio Pizzi also announced his departure from his role as Chile’s manager after last night’s disappointment.

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Paul Dollery

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