Kimmich and Vidal face off for Confed Cup title
Joshua Kimmich and Arturo Vidal have already arranged their next encounter at the Confed Cup. The two FC Bayern players and their respective national sides will battle it out on Sunday evening (20:00 CEST) in the final of the warm-up tournament for next year's World Cup in Russia. After a 1-1 draw in the group stages, there's little to separate the two teams ahead of the final at the Krestowski Stadium in St. Petersburg.
"It'll be a very tough game between two very strong teams," predicted Vidal, who was heralded as a king ('rey') in his homeland after the semi-final success against European champions Portugal. Fatigue could play a decisive role. The Chilean starting eleven has an average age of over 30 -- none of the players in Joachim Löw's squad have even reached that mark.
After winning the Copa América in 2015 and 2016, this is a third final in three years for Chile. Both those finals against Argentina were decided by penalties, as was their Confed Cup semi-final against Portugal. Germany certainly won't want to let the match go that far, though. "There'll be no surprises for me in the German team," said Vidal, who knows what his side can expect. "Everybody's saying that it's a B-team but in terms of their physical fitness, they're better than those who aren't playing."
While World Cup winners Mats Hummels, Thomas Müller and Jérôme Boateng began pre-season training in Munich on Saturday, Kimmich and new Bayern signings Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Süle are in Russia fighting for their first international title. Victory in what may be the final ever Confederations Cup could act as an omen for the 2018 World Cup and send out a message to the competition.
That's true for the young German side -- the youngest in the tournament -- as much as it is for the South Americans. "Now we're in the final, we have to win. If we won here it would send out a clear message to everyone," reiterated Chile's midfield maestro. "It would make us the best team in the world and that's why we're here. I want to fulfil this dream, I always give my life for my country."