Arturo Vidal and Chile want to be the unofficial world champions. It may be only the Confederations Cup on the line when Chile faces Germany in Sunday’s final, but the combative midfielder wants to claim the bragging rights over his German teammates at Bayern Munich.
It could be the third title in as many years for Chile’s golden generation of players. They racked up Copa America wins in 2015 and 2016, beating Lionel Messi’s Argentina in both finals, and defeated Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal on penalties in Wednesday’s Confederations Cup semifinal.
“We have proven our value on the pitch. We beat Argentina, which is one of the best teams and a few days ago we beat Portugal, the European champion,” Vidal said.
“So tomorrow, if we win we will be the best team in the world.”
Fatigue could be an issue for a Chile team that has played eight games in a month and went to penalties against Portugal, but Vidal hopes the will to win can make up for any tired legs.
“Our fuel reserves never run empty,” he said. “Today we are ahead of the final and the pleasure is a unique situation in football.”
Sunday’s final will pitch youth against experience, with an experimental Germany side taking on a Chile team that has kept the same key players for several years.
Still, the Germans are wiser than their years, Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi said.
Pizzi picked out Joshua Kimmich, “who despite being so young is a central pillar of one of the best teams in the world. Shkodran Mustafi was in the German side at the last World Cup.”
“I could go on with the list,” Pizzi added. “While it is true that because of their age they can seem like beginners or youngsters, they have a lot of experience despite their youth, and that makes them a formidable opponent.”