Thank you for everything - Vidal hints at Chile exit
Arturo Vidal has strongly hinted he is ready to walk away from international football in an emotional statement posted in the aftermath of Chile's World Cup elimination.
The Copa America holders slumped to a 3-0 loss against Brazil in Sao Paulo, with results elsewhere leaving them sixth in the CONMEBOL standings - shy of the four automatic spots for Russia 2018 and the intercontinental play-off berth taken by fifth-placed Peru.
The sense of the loss marking the end of an era for a celebrated side was heightened by social media comments from Bayern Munich midfielder Vidal after head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi announced his intention to step down.
"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," said the 30-year-old, who told reporters he was ready for retirement after defeat to Bolivia during the previous international break.
Vidal went on to state his "soul was crushed" and he is not the only stalwart considering his future.
Gracias por todo muchachos!!pic.twitter.com/I9s9OhTK7r-- Arturo Vidal (@kingarturo23) October 11, 2017
Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was at fault for Paulinho's opening goal on Tuesday and the 34-year-old also conceded it might be the right moment to call time on a decorated stint at the highest level.
"I'm going to take some time to think," Bravo told La Tercera. "Another four years wears you down tremendously. Things will be decided with calmness, I have to talk to important people before deciding.
"Whether I am here or not, we have to continue in the same path, always having a starring role. The duty should be for the team to be as high as possible."
Bravo refused to be drawn on one of the controversies surrounding Chile's fall from grace - an Instagram post by his wife Carla Pardo accusing unnamed members of the side of unprofessional behaviour, including allegedly missing training due to being drunk.
"Thanks for all the beautiful times my national team. Thanks my Captain America [Bravo] for all the moments we have experienced. It was truly beautiful," Pardo's message read.
"But when one wears the [national team] jersey it has to be with professionalism. I know that the majority bust their a**, while others were partying and even missing training because of the drunkenness they had.
"If the shoe fits, wear it, and stop crying. Because now the whole country is crying. Waiting for you my captain with open arms."