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Arturo Vidal retires from international football

October 11, 2017

The Bayern Munich midfielder will hang up his international boots a decade after making his Chile debut. The 30-year-old said his country's failure to qualify for the World Cup has "crushed his soul."

2017 FIFA Confederations Cup | Deutschland vs. Chile
Golden generation: Vidal with Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez Image: picture alliance /dpa/Tass/S. Krasilnikov

Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal has announced his retirement from international football after Chile failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Vidal, 30, made his international debut in February and went on make 95 appearances for his country, scoring 23 goals in the process.

But he said his "soul had been crushed" by Chile's 3-0 defeat to Brazil on Tuesday which saw them finish sixth in CONMEBOL qualifying behind Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia and Peru – meaning they missed out on an intercontinental play-off against New Zealand on goal difference.

Vidal himself missed the match through suspension but said in a statement on Twitter: "Thank you for everything, lads, for all these years together. Thank you for teaching me and showing the country that, with effort and hard work, anything is possible in life."

Confederations Cup Cameroon v Chile Vidal Jubel
Vidal confirmed he would reture from international football after the World Cup, should Chile have qualified.Image: Reuters/K. Pfaffenbach

Golden generation

The midfielder had already announced in September that he would retire from international duty following the 2018 World Cup - should Chile qualify. "The past ten years have been tough and the time has come to take a break," he said at the time.

Vidal, who joined German champions Bayern from Juventus in 2015, was part of the Chile side which was knocked out by Brazil at the last-16 stage of both of the last two World Cups.

But, along with Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez and Bayer Leverkusen's Charles Aranguiz, he was also a key player in a golden generation of Chilean talent which won back-to-back Copa America titles in 2015 and 2016.

Vidal also led his country in the Confederations Cup in Russia this summer, where they were beaten 1-0 in the final by world champions Germany.

Chile's Argentinean manager Juan Antonio Pizzi also stepped down after Tuesday's defeat.

mf/mds (afp)