Chile’s Arturo Vidal takes the ball during the 2018 World Cup qualifier football match against Ecuador in Santiago on October 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Martin BERNETTI
Arturo Vidal says he is retiring from international football with his “soul crushed” after Chile failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals.
Vidal missed Chile’s final shot at qualification on Tuesday through suspension, the South American champions losing 3-0 to Brazil to miss out on the tournament in Russia next year on goal difference.
Vidal, 30, announced his intention to step down from the national team on Twitter.
“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,” the Bayern Munich midfielder wrote in Spanish.
He said his “soul was crushed” but at the same time spoke of his “pride at players and staff”.
Vidal with Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal was part of the golden generation of Chile players that claimed the Copa America in 2015 and 2016.
Chile, who were beaten by Brazil in the round of 16 at both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, were soundly beaten again by Brazil in Sao Paulo on Tuesday.
The Chileans finished level on points with Peru, who secured a two-legged playoff against New Zealand, but trailed on goal difference to be placed out of the running in sixth in the final South American qualifying table.
Chile’s Argentinean manager Juan Antonio Pizzi also announced his retirement from the team after Tuesday’s disappointment.