Arturo Vidal in action for FC Bayern this season. - © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Thomas Niedermueller
Arturo Vidal in action for FC Bayern this season. - © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Thomas Niedermueller
Bundesliga

Arturo Vidal exclusive: 'I think 2017 will be our year'

Bundesliga winner, DFB Cup winner, Copa America Centenario winner, Chilean Footballer of the Year: it has been a memorable 2016 for Arturo Vidal, although FC Bayern München's combative midfielder is aiming to go one better in 2017.

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bundesliga.com caught up with one of world football's finest midfielders to reflect on the year just gone and look ahead to what is to come in 2017...

bundesliga.com: Arturo Vidal, what were your first steps in the game and what was your relationship to football when you were younger?

Arturo Vidal: It was difficult at the start when I was a boy, but thanks to my mother's efforts I managed to make it. On top of that, I was lucky enough to have a pitch right outside my house. Those things helped me to believe it was possible to become a footballer and that I'd be able to help my family. Everything I experienced back then helped me a great deal psychologically. It gave me the desire and the battling spirit to keep going and fight out in the world.

bundesliga.com: What was it like for you when you first arrived in Germany, at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, in 2007?

Vidal: It wasn't easy but I was so determined to succeed and make my childhood ambitions come true that I decided to fight against everything. I was at odds with everything: with the language, for example, with great players who were older than me, with coaches who initially left me out of the team or with whom I had a difference of opinion. There were a lot of things that generally don't get publicised, but it was my mentality, or my desire to succeed, that were stronger than anything else.

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- © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Johannes Simon

bundesliga.com: You still have many more years left as a footballer. Do you think you will finish your career at Bayern?

Vidal: Yes, it's possible. I feel good here and I'm happy so it's difficult to say that I want to finish my career elsewhere. I feel as if I'm at home. My family is doing well and my kids are better than ever. That helps me make decisions that help me and my family. When you're happy with a team, like I am at Bayern, then you want to stay there a long time. On the other hand, you never know what the future might bring. I'd also like to play for Colo Colo [in Chile] at the end of my career.

bundesliga.com: What has football given you?

Vidal: A lot. I'd say almost everything, in fact. It's helped me grow as a person, to mature. Living away from your homeland is difficult in general, but football helps you to forget your problems and about the distance between you and your family and friends. I'm grateful to football because without it I don't know where I'd be today.

- © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Johannes Simon
- © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Johannes Simon