SANTIAGO, June 19- Chile star Alexis Sanchez has told disgraced team-mate Arturo Vidal he needs to “bust his ass” in Friday’s Copa America showdown with Bolivia following his drink-driving shame.
Arsenal star Sanchez 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 Sanchez 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 ass,” Sanchez said. The forward later offered support to Vidal on Twitter, saying “We are all behind you, as always.”
Vidal, 28, collided with another car late Tuesday as he and his wife, Maria Teresa Matus, 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.
“I let everyone down,” he said. “I want to tell you what happened. Yesterday I went to the casino. I had two drinks. I put my wife’s life at risk, a lot of people’s lives at risk. I’m very sorry.”
Vidal has been the star of Chile’s Copa America campaign so far, scoring three goals in two matches to top the tournament goalscoring charts.
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 on Friday as they aim to book their place in the quarter-finals.
“We resolved the situation with Arturo quickly and now we are only concentrating on the sport,” Sampaoli told reporters.