Arturo Vidal has praised Bayern for the carefully mapped-out strategy that has given the Bundesliga leaders a squad packed with world-class talent.
Bayern are striding towards a sixth successive Meisterschale and a 27th domestic league title in the club’s silverware-laden history having opened up a gaping 20-point lead at top of the table.
Their imperious march clear at the top of the table is all the more impressive given that while their heavyweight counterparts around Europe spent massively last summer, Bayern simply tweaked their 2016/17 title-winning squad.
While clubs like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, who smashed the transfer world record with the €222 million signing of Neymar from Barcelona, lavished eye-watering sums to reinforce their squads, Bayern moved with surgical precision to bring in Corentin Tolisso, James Rodriguez, Niklas Süle and Sebastian Rudy.
Sandro Wagner was brought in in January, but the only other significant change in personnel came in the dug-out with Jupp Heynckes replacing Carlo Ancelotti in October and masterminding a dominant season for the Bavarians.
“I find the way they do things spectacular. Really,” Vidal told German football magazine kickerwhen asked about how the club conducts its transfer business. “The people here at the club do very good work and know exactly for which position they must buy a player. That means they don’t have to spend so much money.
“Other clubs had to do more transfers because they had less quality in their squad. They had to buy new stars to reach Bayern Munich’s level and compete in the Champions League. Here at Bayern, all the players are at the very top level, absolutely world class.”
Vidal has been among the stand-out performers in Bayern’s high-quality squad this term with the Chilean — now 30 — playing some of the very best football of his career.
The former Juventus man put that down to the influence of Heynckes, who was also his mentor when Vidal made the transatlantic switch from Colo Colo to Leverkusen in 2007.
“He could be my father, that’s right. Already at Leverkusen he shaped me when I was still a very young player. Through him, the Leverkusen team improved enormously,” Vidal explained.
“He knows me, how I live, when things are good or not, and he can talk to me about it in Spanish. That helps me a lot.”
Working with Heynckes has not only been a boon for Vidal the player, but has surely also provided him with some ideas for the future he plans to have when he eventually hangs up his boots.
“I would like to become a coach. I hope that will also be the case when my career ends one day,” he explained, even if he has no thoughts of stopping playing just yet.
“[I want to play] As long as I can, hopefully until 36 or 37 here in Europe, then perhaps another year in Chile with my hometown club, Colo-Colo. I work hard every day to be able to play at the top level for years to come.”
When Vidal does eventually take charge of his own team, one of the factors he will have to take into account is squad rotation, a facet of the modern game he is not always a fan of as a player.
“It’s clear that squad rotation isn’t always to everyone’s liking. Everyone wants to play. But when you have as many games as Bayern does and such an evenly matched squad, it really helps to be at your best physically when the big games come round.
“And those are the games every player wants to play. I would prefer to play every game, but I understand that sometimes the coach wants to try something out or keep an equilibrium within the squad,” said Vidal, who sees his immediate future with the record German champions.
“One never knows how a career will end, but I would like to continue at the highest level. Bayern is exactly what I want and need.”