Arturo Vidal has rejected theories that he was purposely dismissed for Chile in order to be in better shape for Juventus’ game against Napoli.
The midfielder was set to fly back to Turin on Wednesday, but he returned early following his red card in the loss to Ecuador last weekend.
“How can you think such things? I love to play football, for the national side and for Juventus – and there was an important game coming up against Argentina,” he told La Stampa.
“All footballers, whether at Juventus or not, want to play all of the time. But then people get injured and people get sent off.”
Juve and Napoli are joint Serie A leaders, after dropping just two points in seven games, and Vidal has underlined how vital the tie is.
“It’s an important game because they are having a good season,” he continued. “Now we’ll see who is stronger.
“It is important to win all games, by doing that other sides look at you with fear. We have to press them, make them run and run by passing the ball about. We’ll win.”
Juventus have shared out the goals again this term, while Edinson Cavani remains the Azzurri’s main goal threat.
“It is better to have a strong side rather than one or two great players,” Vidal noted. “Actually, you need a great squad, because 11 players are not enough.
“We’re stronger than last season, even if we still need to improve to get to where we want to. We played better last season, but we also drew a lot of games.”
Juventus won the championship in 2011-12, but they are expected to have more difficulties this time around following their return to the European Cup.
“The Champions League can make you struggle more, but we’ll have to see whether it costs us the Scudetto…
“Because when you work as hard as we do, you can go for everything – Champions League, Scudetto and Coppa Italia.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!