Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Is Arturo Vidal The Most Complete Midfielder In The World?

Chilean born Arturo Vidal plays for Serie A side Juventus.  He originally signed for a bargain price of 10.5 million from Bayer Leverkusen  in 2011, spurning interest from Bayern Munich in the process.  His final season at Leverkusen was very impressive, in 29 appearances he scored 9 made 10, averaged 4.97 tackles and 2.69 interceptions per game.  He has come on even more at Juventus and was named their player of the season in 2012/13, which was his best season to date.  He scored an impressive 14 goals over the course of the season and was hugely influential in the sides success.  It has been an upward trajectory for him, his first season at Juventus was very good and the one just gone, outstanding.  The Italian press nicknamed him Il Guerriero (the warrior) due to his style of play and tenacity.
Vidal is a joy to watch, he has drive, technique, strength, pace, power and a lethal shot.  His energy levels are outstanding, with a side featuring the glorious Andrea Pirlo- energy is a necessity. A box to box player in style, he offers and does so much more. This season he has been playing in a more advanced role for his club. Playing further up the pitch has instantly translated into more goals. He has three so far in six appearances, which includes the Super Cup. Linking well with new signing Tevez, Juventus are looking strong and believe they could do well in the Champions League. There are not many midfielders in football at present that are as complete as he is. There is a rich abundance of specialist midfielders, particularly attacking ones.  It is probably why he stands out so much.  Box to box midfielders seem to have gone by the wayside due to modern changes in tactics and formations.  Have heard some fans draw comparisons to Roy Keane, albeit a more skillful version.  But you can definitely see characteristics such as drive in Vidal that Keane had in abundance.  Due to his reputation, Keane's qualities as a player can be too easily overlooked.  He was a top player, leader, energetic and underrated passer.  Vidal's character looks strong, he leads by example and puts everything into games.  Over the summer he often lead training sessions in pre-season.  It was a suggestion by manager and fitness coach that players should volunteer themselves to keep training more interesting.  His ability is there too see, but that he can and does have the power to motivate and drive those around him for club and country.
Up until recently it was always my favourite German, Bastian Schweinsteiger who I believed unequivocally to be the most well rounded midfielder.  Having watched a great deal of Juventus in recent years, the form of Vidal has made me re-think it a bit.  Schweinsteiger, played a significant part in Bayern Munich's incredible successful 2012/13 season.  The German has consistently done it for years, both for his club and country.  He is versatile, energetic, a greater reader of the game, leader and has everything you would want a midfielder to have.  It is certainly true that Vidal has more to prove and needs to continue playing at a high standard to be considered above Schweinsteiger.  Feel that Schweinsteiger is the better footballer, he generally makes more passes in a game and his passing is much superior to the Chilean's.  Vidal in comparison is more mobile and has a better eye for goal (crackers they are too).  He also covers more ground than Schweinsteiger as the stats prove.    
Over the summer it was reported that Real Madrid were very interested in signing him.  Being Madrid, they were also prepared to pay big money to do so.  Juventus fans will be pleased to hear that he is set to sign a new contract, which should keep him at the club beyond 2016.  Reports also suggest that he is very happy at Juventus and life in Italy.  Not too long turned twenty six he has plenty of years ahead of him.  One of the best games seen this season was not a club game but an international- Spain vs Chile friendly.  It was  a fantastic match to watch.  It is a given that the midfield and possession is going to be dominated by Spain, often heavily so.  However, Chile did very well in disrupting Spain and outplayed them for much of the game.  Vidal played a big part in that.  Akin to the above mentioned Schweinsteiger, Vidal's form also translates onto the international stage.  His importance to the national side his increased significantly over the last year.