Arturo Vidal has been having fun in Barcelona training ahead of the imminent return of La Liga after a three-month break.
The Chile international has taken time out to show off how he embarrassed starlet Riqui Puig during Saturday’s training session at the Camp Nou with a neat turn.
Vidal added a caption full of smiling emojis with the message: “Where are you going my child? Not to dad …”
His comment prompted a swift response from the 20-year-old midfielder. He wrote: “Hahahaha I’m very fast @ kingarturo23oficial next time I steal your wallet …”
Barcelona trained at the Camp Nou on Saturday in preparation for the return of La Liga which will be played behind closed doors. The club played a mini-game with Vidal’s ‘yellow’ team running out 3-1 winners against Puig’s ‘grey’ team, according to Mundo Deportivo‘s Ferran Martinez.
What Next for Riqui Puig and Barcelona?
Puig is still only 20 but is one of Barcelona’s brightest young prospects. New manager Quique Setien called the midfielder up for first-team training and named him in his first squad after replacing Ernesto Valverde as manager in January.
Yet the youngster has struggled for game time since. He has only managed 22 La Liga minutes in 2019-20, against Granada in January and Levante in February. Puig faces stiff competition for a place in midfield with Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Arthur, and Vidal all in the squad.
Sique Rodríguez at Cadena SER has reported that Puig has three months to prove himself at Barcelona or could find himself forced out of the club due to their financial difficulties.
Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman told Catalunya Radio that Puig might want to think about spending a season on loan with Ajax.
“It is important that players of that age play a lot. The Dutch league is not as strong as the Spanish one, but it is the perfect school and you can make a lot of minutes, especially at clubs like Ajax. It is a very big opportunity.”
The youngster is said to be interested in a move to Celta Viga in the summer if he is to leave the club. Real Betis, Ajax, and Granada are also interested, according to Luis Miguelsanz at Sport.
Vidal Has a Point to Prove to Barca’s Youngsters?
Vidal may have got the better of Puig this time around but he has suffered at the hands of Barcelona’s youngsters in training. Ansu Fati, who only turned 17 in October, has enjoyed considerable success against the Chile midfielder.
Yet the midfielder has become a key figure for Barcelona since joining from Bayern Munich 2018, although there has been speculation he could depart this summer. However, the veteran had responded to recent rumors and has insisted he is “happy and comfortable” at Barcelona.