Former Bayern player Arturo Vidal: 'It's like a final!'
Arturo Vidal, known as the Warrior, played for FC Bayern for three years between 2015 and 2018. In that time, he won three German championships, and lifted the DFB Cup once and the DFL Supercup twice. Following his move to Barcelona, the 33-year-old Chile international will face his former club for the first time. In an interview with fcbayern.com, Vidal talked about the clash in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and how much he misses Munich and his former teammates.
The interview with Arturo Vidal
FC Bayern: Arturo, what are your expectations for Friday’s game?
Arturo Vidal: "It’s going to be a very intense match, played at the very top level. It’s like a final. The team that performs better will go through and I hope it’ll be us. We’re in very good form right now."
Does your preparation change given that it’ll all be decided in one game and not over the usual two legs?
“It’s certainly very different to what has been done before, but we all know why that is and it makes the game more interesting. There are more nerves, we’re even more excited about going out and playing. It’ll be a great game with two teams used to playing at this level, so it’ll be very entertaining.”
You’re playing in a neutral stadium in Lisbon. Will that affect the game in any way?
“I think that at this level, with teams who have the best players in the world, there won’t be issues with that. This game will be won by the team that takes more advantage of their opportunities. The team that plays better will go through.”
Is it special for you to face Bayern given your own personal history with the club?
(Laughs): “Yes, it’s a bit strange. You know a time like this will come, but it feels a bit strange. I had some terrific years in Munich with players who will now be my opponents. There’s a lot of love there, but I have to defend Barcelona’s colours, and I’m thankful with Barcelona for the love and confidence they have given me. And that’s why I’ll give my very best on Friday.”
Do you think the knowledge you have of Bayern and their players will be useful to Barcelona on Friday?
“I don’t know. I know a lot more than people who see them on TV or in the games do, but everyone knows the players from Bayern, like they know the players from Barcelona. The world is always watching when these two great teams play in their respective leagues or in the Champions League. I can talk about how they are in the dressing room and things like that, but these games are all very different from one another, and we know the quality each team has.”
Do you keep in touch with any of your former Bayern teammates?
“Yes, of course! With almost everyone. With Jerôme Boateng, David Alaba, Thiago and Javi Martínez. And with Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski too. I share very good friendships with all of them. We love each other and we had three fantastic years together.”
Is there anyone at Bayern you’re particularly looking forward to coming up against on the pitch?
"All of them. They’re all top-level players, that’s why they play at Bayern Munich. They’re some of the best players in the world, so it will be a fun game. It’ll be a game with lots of mixed emotions. The best team will win and we are going into the game in very good form. Everyone can look forward to a teriffic game.”
What’s your favourite memory from your time at FC Bayern?
“I have so many wonderful memories, like when we lifted our trophies. It was a really wonderful moment when I said goodbye to my teammates because most of them didn’t want me to leave Bayern. We have such a good friendship and it was a beautiful moment, but also a sad one, because I had to leave Munich. I had to keep growing, looking for my destiny and I’m happy. It was one of the best times of my life because I felt supported, respected and loved by my teammates.”
Do you have a message for all the fans you left in Munich and who continue to follow your career?
“They have my respect. From the moment I arrived in Munich they loved me and supported me. A lot of people from there still write to me, thanking me for what I gave and how I played, so I will always be thankful for that.”
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