Arturo Vidal sealed an emotional return to Chilean side Colo Colo this week, and his unveiling was nothing short of spectacular. Arriving back at the Santiago club after almost two decades away, the former Barcelona star’s bizarre display involved riding around the stadium on horseback dressed as a king.
Vidal’s return was never going to be done by halves. The 36-year-old has enjoyed spells with European giants Juventus, Bayern Munich, Barca and Inter Milan since leaving hometown club Colo Colo in 2007.
The tough-tackling midfielder counts nine league titles in Italy, Germany and Spain among his many accomplishments, as well as 142 caps for the Chilean national team. His move back to Colo Colo after agreeing a January transfer was therefore a celebratory affair.
Vidal’s grand unveiling began with him being helicoptered into Estadio Monumental David Arellano, which was almost at capacity with 35,000 fans in attendance.
The veteran stepped out to a deafening roar, before bizarrely slipping on a cape and trotting around the pitch on a black horse. Vidal, with a crown on his head, then waved to the crowd while holding a sword aloft.
The former Barca star was then moved to the verge of tears as he attempted to address fans with a speech, but his voice was drowned out by a chorus of chants marking his return to the club after 17 years away.
Numerous talented stars have passed through Colo Colo’s ranks in the past, including Borussia Dortmund hero Lucas Barrios, ex-Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and former Premier League wing-back Jean Beausejour.
Colo Colo are the dominant force in Chilean football with 33 league titles to their name. And Vidal will be desperate to help his boyhood club return to winning ways, having missed out on top spot in 2023.