Arturo Vidal pledged not to celebrate if he scores for Bayern Munich against his old club Juventus. “I’m an opponent, not an enemy.”
The first leg in the Champions League Round of 16 kicks off on Tuesday at 19.45 GMT.
“I return to Turin as an opponent, not an enemy,” he assured in La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I don’t know how I will be welcomed, but I hope the fans don’t jeer. I am excited about this game and it’ll be strange to see myself there with another jersey.
“If I score, then I won’t celebrate. In four years I learned and won a great deal. I left because it was an opportunity for me and a good move for Juve, so we were all happy.”
Vidal has been keeping a close eye on his former teammates from Germany.
“I had no doubts the Bianconeri would come back into the Scudetto race. Even when they were in 12th position I knew they’d get back to the top, because the squad is so strong and never gives up.
“I watch Juve on TV. In Munich I spend my whole time at home or playing football.”
Juventus reached the Champions League Final last season, but are Bayern Munich the favourites?
“I think we each have a 50-50 chance of qualification,” argued the Chile international.
“If I could take one of Juve’s players, it’d be Paul Pogba, as if he works hard then he can become among the best in the world.
“I’d also take Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci. Paulo Dybala’s success is not really a surprise.”
Bayern were trailing at half-time against Darmstadt yesterday, but fought back to win 3-1 amid an injury crisis in defence.
“Struggling on a few crosses can happen, but even if we’re a fairly short team, we really fight to get the ball. Will I play in defence? No.”
There is also some tension off the field with Pep Guardiola announcing he’ll leave at the end of the season to take over at Manchester City.
“It was strange and we only learned about it by watching TV. Pep reminds me of Antonio Conte in the way he speaks and looks after the details.
“In any case, after him we’ll have a fine Coach like Carlo Ancelotti. For now we want to win everything so Pep can leave happy.
“Who is the stronger team between Bayern and Juve? We’ll see on Tuesday. I haven’t given my teammates any special advice, as they know how strong Juve are even without Vidal.”
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