The Arsenal forward was in good spirits ahead of Chile’s match against Bolivia and vows that there will be no further indiscipline following Vidal’s drink-driving charge
Alexis Sanchez says he told Chile team-mate Arturo Vidal to “bust his ass” in their final Copa America group stage game against Bolivia on Friday following the midfielder’s arrest for drunk-driving in Santiago on Tuesday night.
Vidal was reprimanded by the Chilean football association (ANFP) and coach Jorge Sampaoli, but is allowed to continue with the squad for the remainder of the Copa.
Alexis acknowledged that the discipline problems within the squad must stop with Vidal’s arrest, but quipped that the Juventus man better make up for causing such a distraction this week.
“I told him ‘Arturo, you better bust your ass!’,” Alexis said. “It’s very hard what happened with him but as a group the least we can do is put up with it as a team.
“There has been indiscipline, we were wrong, you are right about that. But we are a family and we are there to support him.”
Sanchez, who has yet to score in two matches, maintained that there was a strong togetherness in the Chile squad despite Vidal’s arrest and put to bed any rumours that the players were unhappy with midfielder’s place in the squad.
“I hate it when people say things which are not true,” he said. “All the players were with him. I hope that the people will be with him on Friday, like all his colleagues have been.
“The important thing is that Arturo, his wife and everyone else are well. The case of Arturo should now close and we can concentrate on the Copa America.”
Sampaoli reiterated his star man’s stance, stating that he has moved on from the controversy caused by Vidal’s crash and arrest and that all the focus was now on Bolivia at the Estadio Nacional on Friday. Chile have four points in Group A following a win over Ecuador and a 3-3 draw against Mexico.
“What happened with Arturo was resolved rapidly and now we are concentrating on sport,” said Sampaoli. “Really, all I am interested in is the game tomorrow.
“One has to search for the common good of the squad, to maintain sanity. One tries to make the best decision. I’m confident in thinking that I made the best decision and there will not be any consequences of this.”