The importance and of Arturo Vidal to Chile was evident last week as Claudio Borghi named his 25-man squad for the upcoming World Cup 2014 qualifying double header against Bolivia and Venezuela.
Serving a 10 game suspension from the national side, along with Carlos Carmona, Gonzalo Jara, Jean Beausejour and Jorge Valdivia for the part they played in the ‘Chile 5’in November last year, it was expected Vidal would miss the crucial qualifying matches with Chile lying 5th in the qualification table.
However Vidal has been pardoned by the ANFP – Chilean Football Association – allowing him to take his place in Borghi’s squad.
In the last few weeks Arturo has been one of the star players in Serie A, scoring four goals in his last eight games, as Juventus claimed their first Serie A title since relegation to Serie B after the Calciopoli scandal that engulfed the Italian Peninsula in 2006.
The other four players will serve out the remainder of their 10-game suspension. Yet assistant to ‘Bichi’, Jaime Vera – linked to the vacant post at Colo Colo – had positive words for Jorge Valdivia. Stating that he was a player that both he and Borghi admired.
Elsewhere there was no place for Cagliari goal-getter Mauricio Pinilla but there were call-ups for players that have shined in the Apertura, including O’Higgins pair Luis Casanova and Luis Figueroa and Deportes Iquique captain Edson Puch.
La Roja, who remain 13th in the FIFA rankings, begin with a trip to La Paz on the 2nd of June before playing Venezuela in Puerto la Cruz a week later. With Chile occupying the play-off place the need for points in these two games is imperative in the ultra competitive CONMEBOL qualifying section.
Squad in full:
Claudio Bravo (Real Sociedad)
Miguel Pinto (Atlas)
Cristopher Toselli (U. Católica)
Osvaldo González (U. de Chile)
Marcos González (Flamengol)
Pablo Contreras (Colo Colo)
Luis Casanova (O’Higgins)
José Rojas (U. de Chile)
Lucas Domínguez (A. Italiano)
Gary Medel (Sevilla)
Marcelo Díaz (U. de Chile)
Arturo Vidal (Juventus, Italia)
Braulio Leal (U. Española)
Charles Aránguiz (U. de Chile)
Luis Pedro Figueroa (O’Higgins)
Eugenio Mena (U. de Chile)
Matías Campos Toro (U. Católica)
Matías Fernández (Sporting Lisbon)
Cristóbal Jorquera (Genoa)
Edson Puch (Iquique)
Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona)
Eduardo Vargas (Nápoli, Italia)
Junior Fernandes (U. de Chile)
Sebastián Pinto (Bursaspor)
Humberto Suazo (Monterrey)