Vidal changes tune on retirement

Arturo Vidal has decided not to retire from international football after all despite Chile’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

La Roja were defeated 3-0 by Brazil in their final qualifying match to end in sixth place in CONMEBOL qualifying, behind Peru, who took the play-off spot, on goal-difference, as Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia all qualified automatically.

Vidal, who was not present at the game after being suspended for picking up a booking in a win over Ecuador last week, announced his decision to quit international football with a message on Twitter.

He wrote: “Thank you lads, for everything, for all these years together… for teaching me and for showing a country that with effort and work anything is possible in life.”

But a day later, the FC Bayern München midfielder had clearly changed his mind, with a new message.

He explained: “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.”

Chile manager Juan Antonio Pizzi stepped down from his role in charge of the team following the Brazil loss.