Australia’s chances of progression at the 2014 FIFA World Cup have taken a huge boost, as reports have emerged Chile’s star midfielder Arturo Vidal will miss the campaign-opening match against the Socceroos on Friday evening Brazil time.
Plying his trade weekly for Italian Serie A champions Juventus, Vidal has not trained with his Chilean team mates since arriving in Brazil, and is reportedly on the verge of being removed altogether from Chile’s 23-man squad for the 2014 Soccer World Cup and replaced by veteran Rodrigo Millar.
Forced to under-go surgery on May 7th as a result of a meniscus problem, Vidal has been capped a total of 53 times for the Chilean National Football Team, scoring eight goals from his renowned box-to-box position.
Fellow midfielder Marcelo Diaz, who has carved out an impressive partnership with Vidal in the centre of the pitch over recent years said that while not ideal, the show will still go on if Chile are unable to field arguably their biggest weapon during the Soccer World Cup.
“We will have to wait and see if he can play in these games,” Diaz told the media on Monday.
“Vidal is one of the best players in the world, he is very valuable and anyone would like to have him.
“But it’s not just one player who will carry the team, it is all of us.”
Facing a fresh-faced, largely inexperienced Australian outfit on June 13th local time, Diaz said Chile’s preparations have continued at a high standard, but is not underestimating their first-up opponents.
“We are preparing very well, we are training very intensely for out game against Australia, which is perhaps the most important game that we have,” Diaz continued.
“Australia is a great football team that plays very well; it is not an easy team.”
With the news of such a pivotal loss to their side for the match against Australia, Chile has drifted noticeably in head-to-head betting markets for success, now offered at odds of $1.44 at leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
Chile is currently offered at generous $36 odds for maiden success in the FIFA World Cup come July 13th.