A warrior never surrenders - Vidal not turning his back on Chile

11 October 2017 21:55

Arturo Vidal has pledged to "never abandon" Chile after comments attributed to him on Tuesday seemed to suggest he was retiring from international football following the team's failure to qualify for the World Cup.

Chile lost 3-0 to Brazil on Wednesday in their final qualifier, as Peru equalised against Colombia to book a play-off with New Zealand.

That failure went down as a huge shock considering Chile's back-to-back Copa America titles in 2015 and 2016, and Vidal was emotional after the match as he appeared to quit, saying "thank you for everything" in an interview.

However, the 30-year-old has since clarified his position and does not appear to be withdrawing from international duty any time soon, seemingly still eager to add to his 98 caps.

"I am so sad, like most Chileans. We have lost our dream. We have all committed mistakes, yes. Now we must learn and try not to repeat them," Vidal said in his message.

"It is sad not to have managed our goal after such efforts. We left our families alone, travelled thousands and thousands of kilometres, sometimes injured, to compete in the most difficult qualifiers in the world. And after 10 years this is the first time we have been left with empty hands.

"It is tough. But this is not the end of anything. Not the end of a generation, nor this team nor least the end of our dreams. We have much to fight for, much to give, a lot of joy ahead.

"This is a very difficult time, and here we will see who's strongest. Chile is a team of warriors, I feel proud to belong to this squad. And I will not abandon them. We will go together to the end. Every time I am called I will be available for my national team. Our national team.

"That's why I am sure that all together, we will be back stronger than ever. Don't ever write us off, we are Chilean Warriors. Onwards Chile, see you in the next battle. Let's go Chile..."

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