Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal said he wants to win the Champions League with “the best team in the world” and believes he will have to play at a higher standard now that he is a teammate of players such as Lionel Messi.
Vidal, 31, was introduced by Barca on Monday after he passed a medical and signed a three-year contract with the club after three seasons at Bayern Munich.
Vice president Jordi Mestre said Barcelona have a €300 million buyout clause on Vidal, who had one year left on his contract with Bayern.
“When my agent gave me the option, I didn’t doubt for a second,” Vidal said at a news conference. “To face Messi is something beautiful because you take on the best player in the history. Now that I’m on his team, I hope to be up to his standard.
“We have the best players in the world here. I’ve played in many teams and now I’ve arrived at the best. This is a new challenge. To have arrived at Barcelona is a bigger step than that of Bayern Munich. I hope to help the team win titles. I’m hungry to win titles. I have arrived with all the energy and ready to leave my heart on the pitch.”
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Mestre said Barcelona would not disclose the transfer fee at the request of Bayern but they have reportedly paid €25m to acquire the Chile international.
“The most important thing is to have Arturo here,” sporting director Eric Abidal said. “He’s got character. He will balance the midfield, not only on the defensive end but also because he scores goals. We know we needed a profile like his. We need talented players with a mentality to win titles.”
Barca won La Liga and the Copa del Rey last season and are hoping to end Real Madrid’s dominance of the Champions League, in which they lost to Roma in the quarterfinals last season.
Vidal reached the final with Juventus in 2015, when they lost to Barcelona.
“I’ve still got one thing that I have to achieve in my career and that is to win the Champions League, and I hope to do so with the best team in the world,” Vidal said. “I hope I get three Champions [League titles] in these three seasons.
“I don’t consider myself against Madrid. I am a rival of all the teams that play against Barcelona from now on.”
After shining for Bayer Leverkusen from 2007 to 2011, Vidal moved to Italy and won four straight Serie A titles with Juventus. He then joined Bayern in 2015 and scored 22 goals and set up 18 more in 124 games, helping them win the Bundesliga title in all three seasons at the club.
“I’m here to compete for a place among the best,” said Vidal, who was accompanied by his son, Alonso, and dressed in black for the presentation. “Working with humility and giving my all. I feel 100 percent but it’s the coach that will decide who plays.”
Barca had already added Bordeaux’s Malcom, Sevilla’s Clement Lenglet and Gremio’s Arthur.
Vidal’s first game will be the Spanish Supercup against Sevilla on Aug. 15.
“He is a player who has played for high-level teams and has a good experience in Europe,” Mestre said. “He will [help] a lot of us with intensity, play and quality. We hope he will help us win titles. He is very enthusiastic and so are we.”