It’s official: Arturo Vidal signs for Bayern Munich. The transfer is arguably the biggest signing of the summer for the German champs, as Vidal has played an integral role in each of the past four title-winning seasons for Juventus. He’s also on the shortlist for UEFA’s Best Player in Europe Award for the year—one of five Juventus players on the list, and one of three who is departing the Italian football club this summer. (Andrea Pirlo and Carlos Tevez are also saying goodbye to Juventus for the 2015 – 2016 season.)
A Key Cog
In their announcement of the Best Player in Europe Award shortlist, UEFA praised Vidal for his contributions in both Juve’s Serie A victory and the Chile national team’s 2015 Copa America triumph.
The European football organization noted that Vidal “struck the decisive goal against Sampdoria” on May 2nd, in a 1-0 home game win that officially secured the Serie A trophy for Juventus. UEFA also stated that Vidal “was ever-present in Chile’s Copa America success on home soil, scoring three goals” to help the Chilean football team win their first-ever title in the tournament.
In the championship match of the Copa America, Vidal was responsible for one of Chile’s four on-target penalty kicks in a shootout against Argentina. Chile won the shootout 4-1 to clinch the match and the tournament.
Needless to say, Arturo Vidal has been a key cog for both his football club and his national soccer team this year, and there is no reason to expect that he won’t continue the streak at Bayern Munich. It’s easy to see why the Bavarians were willing to pay a reported transfer fee of £26 million plus add-ons to bring the 28-year-old Chilean football star to Germany.
Not that this will be Vidal’s first stint in Germany – just his first time wearing the Bayern Munich shirt. In 2007 – 2008, after playing just one year at Chilean football club Colo-Colo, Arturo transferred to Bayer Leverkusen for four years in the Bundesliga.
Arturo improved notably while at Leverkusen, going from 33 appearances and one goal in 2007 – 2008 (overall, including league, cup, and continental play) to 44 appearances and 13 goals in 2010 – 2011. In his final year with this club, Vidal was Bayer Leverkusen’s top scorer, helping the club to a runner-up finish in the Bundesliga.
The Chilean midfielder would only continue to improve after transferring to Juventus. His arrival coincided with the Italian club’s first Serie A victory since 2003, and the club went on to win the title each year that Arturo played for them. In addition to those four trophies, Arturo helped the Zebras manage an undefeated season in 2011 – 2012, two Coppa Italia victories (in 2012 and 2013), one Supercoppa Italia win (in 2015), and a runner-up finish in the 2014 – 2015 Champions League.
Unsurprisingly, Arturo Vidal’s four years in Italy earned him a number of honors and awards from both Juventus FC and the Serie A. In 2012 – 2013, he was dubbed the Juventus Player of the Year, and also won the Goal.com “Midfielder of the Year” prize. In both the 2012 – 2013 and 2013 – 2014 seasons, he was named to the Serie A Team of the Year. And just weeks ago, he earned “Man of the Match” distinction for the championship game of the Copa America, and was featured as part of the “Team of the Tournament.”
The Next Step
Clearly, Arturo Vidal has been one of the absolute standouts of Italian football over the past four years. Ultimately, he leaves Juventus with an overall total of 171 appearances and 48 goals. Will he continue to put forth such exemplary numbers at Bayern Munich? For his part, Vidal thinks that Munich is a good place to take the next step for his career.
“I want to keep developing as a player and win important trophies like the Champions League,” Arturo said, in a post on Munich’s official website. “I think the best opportunity to do so is with Bayern.”
What do you think? Will you be happy to see Arturo Vidal don the Bayern Munich jersey 2015 – 2016 this season? Or will you miss his dynamic presence at Juventus? Soccer Box wants to hear from you, so link up with us on social media to share your thoughts. You can find us on numerous social networks including Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn.