Since arriving at Flamengo, in July, Vidal had not lived a week as intense as the one he is experiencing now. In just three days, the Chilean faced a mix of strong feelings that still lingers and will only end, in parts, next Wednesday (19), when he will most likely be a starter in the grand final of the Copa do Brasil, against Corinthians, in Maracana.
On the morning of last Tuesday (11), the former player from Barcelona, Bayern Munich, among others, lost his father, Erasmo, after a cardiac arrest at an equestrian club in Chile. The steering wheel was training at CT Ninho do Urubu when he received the news.
Sensitized, the board and the technical commission of Flamengo talked to Vidal and left him free to decide if he would travel with the delegation to São Paulo or go to his homeland to say goodbye to his father and take care of the procedures of the wake. The Chilean, however, was firm in his decision to confirm his departure with the delegation for the game against Corinthians at the Neo Química Arena.
“It’s a moment when only the athlete can direct. [Vidal] he preferred to stay, of course he felt too much, as we all feel for him. We respect the decision. He was emphatic when he decided. We didn’t have any arguments. He was a great man with all of us, which makes us respect him more and more for the attitude he took. Of manhood, dignity even in a very difficult moment”, highlighted the coach Dorival Júnior, complementing:
“He thought of the whole, the group, knowing that maybe he couldn’t even come to accompany [o velório]. Difficult situation, it’s complicated. To reach any conclusion, we had to listen to him much more than suggest him. Even though we had told him to go to Chile, he decided to stay.”
Despite the pain of loss, which made him post a farewell to his father on social media hours before entering the field, Vidal was psychologically well, as far as possible, during the period of concentration. Most of the time, he was with his faithful squire, the Uruguayan Arrascaeta, and even participated in some games with the midfielder during meals at the hotel where the delegation was staying.
In the match, which ended 0-0 and in which Rubro-Negro played with a black belt as a sign of mourning, Vidal started on the bench and entered during the second half in place of João Gomes, who had received the third yellow card. and, because of that, he is suspended from the decisive duel at Maracanã. With that, the chances of the Chilean being a starter next Wednesday are great.
Vidal decides to stay in Rio
After the game in São Paulo, the midfielder returned to Rio de Janeiro along with the delegation on a chartered flight. At the time, only striker Gabigol remained in São Paulo.
Although he and the rest of the group received a day off yesterday, Vidal chose to remain in the Rio de Janeiro capital, since his father’s wake had already taken place.
On his Instagram, the Chilean posted a photo of the Neo Química Arena screen honoring his father Erasmo. In the caption, he tagged Flamengo and Corinthians profiles and put the phrase “thank you very much”, followed by heart emojis, praying hands and a crying face.
As he should be a starter in the final against Corinthians, the tendency is that he will be spared in this Saturday’s match (15), against Atlético-MG, at Maracanã, for the Brazilian Championship.
Among the genuinely World Cup team, Vidal was a starter only once, in the 1-0 victory over Athletico-PR, on the return to the quarterfinals of the Copa do Brasil. Before that, he had played in a kind of mixed team in the 2-1 victory over Vélez Sarsfield (ARG), in the Libertadores semifinals, and in the 4-1 rout over Red Bull Bragantino, for the Brazilian.