Arturo Vidal has absolved Chile teammate Marcelo Diaz of any blame after the midfielder’s first-half error led to Germany’s deciding goal in Sunday’s Confederations Cup final.
The South American champions dominated the opening 20 minutes of the 1-0 loss in St Petersburg, but conceded a goal against the run of play after Diaz coughed up possession and allowed Timo Werner to set up Lars Stindl for the winner.
Chile were unable to force their way back into the game after Diaz’s gaffe, despite registering 22 shots on goal to Germany’s eight. Vidal, however, leapt to the defence of his teammate post-match.
“There are mistakes that can happen, but there is nothing to reproach,” Vidal said. “I think this team is a family and when we win, all of us win.
“There is nothing to reproach because we fought since the first day. We leave happy to have reached another final and hopefully we keep the same hunger than now.”
Sunday’s match was Chile’s third final in as many years, and Vidal says that the reigning Copa America and Copa America Centenario champions would continue to fight for more honours with this golden generation of players.
“It is an incredible generation,” he said. “We hope we go through the [CONMEBOL] qualifiers, play the World Cup and reach the final as we did in this cup.
“In every single game, we were looking for the victory. And we played nice football. There is still a lot to come and hopefully we will come next year to fight for the World Cup.”
In a tense match, in which Chile’s Gonzalo Jara was fortunate not to be shown a red card for elbowing Werner, Vidal and Bayern Munich teammate Joshua Kimmich were involved in an altercation that saw both men booked.
The 30-year-old, however, said that there were no ill-feelings between the pair and normality would resume once the two returned to Bavaria.
“I was a bit angry,” Vidal said. “I didn’t like what he was doing with his teammates. They were winning and they were wasting time.
“I was annoyed but we are teammates and I will see him in 20 days.”
Vidal’s coach, Juan Antonio Pizzi, hailed Chile’s intensity against the world champions and suggested that La Roja would return home proud despite missing out on the silverware.
“My idea was to give all our energy during this tournament and I was convinced that if we went back home with no energy left, it would mean that we would be full of glory,” he said after the match.
“I thought that we would take the trophy.
“We go home full of glory, with no energy left but unfortunately without the trophy.
“I think the whole process we have followed, the whole development, means that we are really achieving a great position, a great situation in world football. We realise that other teams respect us more and more.
“But I insist we need to keep developing. We have to move on.”
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