Sanchez urges Vidal to redeem himself

SANTIAGO - Chile star Alexis Sanchez has told disgraced team-mate Arturo Vidal he needs to work his socks off in this morning's (Singapore time) Copa America showdown with Bolivia to win back fans following his drink-driving shame.

The Arsenal star told a press conference on Thursday that Vidal, arrested and charged by police on Tuesday after a drunken crash in his Ferrari, had been welcomed back into the Chilean camp.

But he revealed he had given the Juventus midfielder some frank advice if he wanted to win back the hearts and minds of Chile's fans.

"I told him, 'Now Arturo, you're going to have to really bust your a**'," Sanchez said.

The forward later offered support to Vidal, 28, on Twitter, saying: "We are all behind you, as always."

Vidal's Ferrari collided with another car late on Tuesday as he and his wife returned from a night out at a casino.

On Wednesday, he made a tearful apology to his team-mates for the incident, saying he took full responsibility for the crash.

Vidal has been the star of Chile's Copa America campaign so far, scoring three goals in two matches to top the tournament's goal-scoring chart.

Chile have never won the 99-year-old competition.

Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli appeared anxious to draw a line under the controversy on Thursday as his side prepared for a Group A game against Bolivia as they aim to book their place in the quarter-finals.

Both teams have four points after two games.

"We resolved the situation with Arturo quickly and now we are only concentrating on the sport," Sampaoli told reporters.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2015, with the headline 'Sanchez urges Vidal to redeem himself'. Subscribe