Vidal was born in San Joaquín, a working class commune in the Chilean capital Santiago. His potential was discovered by his uncle, and he later joined the youth squads of local Primera División club Colo-Colo.
Vidal's professional debut came in the first leg of the 2006 Apertura Tournament final against arch-rivals Universidad de Chile. Vidal came on as a late substitute for Gonzalo Fierro. Colo-Colo would go on to win the game 2–1 and win the championship as well. In the following season (2006 Clausura Tournament) he became a more important part of the squad and would lead Colo-Colo to their second championship win in a row. Vidal scored three goals in Colo-Colo's Copa Sudamericana 2006 campaign. His good showing caught the eye of scouts from various European clubs.
The 2007 Apertura Tournament was Vidal's last with Colo-Colo as he left for Bayer Leverkusen in the summer. Bayer had tracked his progress for some time and his good showing at the U-20 World Cup that year convinced Bayer Leverkusen director of football Rudi Völler to make the trip to Chile to convince the 20-year-old to sign. The two clubs then agreed on a fee of US$11 million with Bayer Leverkusen, paying $7.7 million for 70% ownership of his contract. His transfer broke the previous national record of Matías Fernández's $9 million transfer to Villarreal.
Vidal missed the first game of the season through injury but was soon thrust into the starting line-up and made his debut on 19 August 2007 in the away loss against Hamburger SV. He started in half the season's games and scored his first goal for the club just three games into his Bayer career. He was ever present for the 2008–09 season and played a vital role in Bayer's run to the DFB-Pokal final. On 8 March, he suffered a concussion during the game against VfL Bochum and was out for a month. Upon his return, he scored a goal to break the deadlock in the 4–1 semifinal win over Mainz 05 in the DFB-Pokal, but Bayer eventually lost to Werder Bremen in the final.
The 2010–11 season would be Vidal's last with Bayer. He helped the club to a runner-up finish in the Bundesliga and topped the assist charts for his club with 11 assists, which was joint second in the league. He also contributed two goals in the club's run to the round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League.
After a good 2010–11 season, Vidal was linked with various clubs, including Bayer's Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich. On 22 July 2011, however, Vidal joined Serie A club Juventus for €10.5 million on a five-year contract. He made his competitive debut in the opening league game of the season against Parma, coming on as a second-half substitute for Alessandro Del Piero; he marked his first appearance with a goal six minutes after his introduction in Juventus' 4–1 win. It was initially speculated that he would compete with Claudio Marchisio for a spot alongside Andrea Pirlo, but Juventus manager Antonio Conte instead played all three effectively in a three-man midfield in his 3–5–2 formation. Vidal was an integral part of the 2011–12 Scudetto-winning side that went undefeated the entire season. He contributed seven league goals and three assists, including crucial goals against Napoli and a double against Roma.
Vidal began his second season with the club by scoring from a penalty in the 2012 Supercoppa Italiana on 11 August 2012, as Juventus defeated Napoli 4–2 in extra-time at the Beijing National Stadium. On 19 September 2012, Vidal scored his first UEFA Champions League goal in the group stage match away against the defending champions Chelsea. It was a crucial equaliser as Juve finished the game 2–2 after going two goals down in the first half. After helping the club to a second consecutive Serie A title, scoring 10 league goals in the process, and 15 in all competitions, he was voted Player of the Year by registered users on the club website juventus.com.
On 27 November 2013, Vidal scored a hat-trick against Copenhagen in the group stage of the Champions League, two penalties and a header. It was his first career hat-trick, and made him the first Juventus player to score three goals in a match in the Champions League since former Juventus player Filippo Inzaghi against Hamburger SV in 2000. He later renewed his contract with Juventus, keeping him at the club until 2017. On 27 February 2014, Vidal scored his first goal in the Europa League with Juventus, opening the scoring in a 2–0 win over Trabzonspor, in the second leg of the round of 16, and helping Juventus to the semi-finals of the competition. Vidal's offensive contribution increased that season, as he managed 11 goals in Serie A and 7 in European competitions, and he was one of the protagonists of Juventus' season as they won their third consecutive league title. His season finished prematurely, however, as he sustained a knee injury.
In his fourth season with Juventus, under manager Massimiliano Allegri, Vidal began to play a more advanced role; in addition to his midfield box-to-box role in a 3–5–2 or 4–3–3 formation, Vidal was deployed as an attacking midfielder, supporting the strikers in Allegri's 4–3–1–2 formation, and occasionally as a wide midfielder in a 4–4–2 formation. Vidal scored his first goals of the season by managing a brace in a 3–0 win over Cesena on 24 September 2014. On 30 November, in the Derby della Mole against local rivals Torino, Vidal opened the scoring from a penalty, and later assisted Juventus' second goal in a 2–1 win. On 14 April 2015, in the first leg of the quarter-finals in the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League, Vidal converted a penalty as Juventus defeated Monaco 1–0 at Juventus Stadium.
On 2 May 2015, Vidal scored the only goal of a 1–0 win at Sampdoria, confirming La Vecchia Signora as Serie A champions for the fourth consecutive season. On 20 May, he appeared in Juventus' 2–1 win over Lazio in the 2015 Coppa Italia final, as Juventus captured a domestic double and their tenth Coppa Italia title. On 6 June 2015, Vidal started for Juventus in the 2015 Champions League final as La Vecchia Signora was defeated 3–1 by Barcelona at Berlin's Olympiastadion.
On 15 July 2015, Vidal was named to the ten-man shortlist for the 2015 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award; on 12 August, it was announced that he placed eighth in the 2015 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award.
On 28 July 2015, Vidal returned to the Bundesliga, joining Bayern Munich on a four-year deal for a fee of €37 million plus up to €3 million in bonuses. Vidal made his debut for Bayern four days later in the 2015 DFL-Supercup against VfL Wolfsburg, as a 74th-minute substitute for Thiago. The match finished in a 1–1 draw; Bayern lost in a shootout where Vidal scored. Vidal scored his first goal from the penalty spot in the fifth minute of Bayern's first round DFB-Pokal match. On 26 November, Vidal was nominated for the 2015 UEFA Team of the Year.
Vidal represented Chile at the Under-20 level at the 2007 South American Youth Championship in Paraguay where he was the tournament's second top scorer with six goals. During the tournament he played central midfield and helped the team to qualify for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup where Chile finished in third place with Vidal scoring two goals in the tournament, including the match winner against Portugal in the round of 16.
Vidal made his senior debut in a friendly against Venezuela, where Chile won 1–0. He became a regular under Marcelo Bielsa when fit during 2010 World Cup qualifying, playing in 11 matches and scoring a goal. He was then named in the final 23-man squad for the tournament and started in all four of Chile's matches as they were defeated by Brazil in the round of 16. Vidal went on the appear in all of the team's matches at the 2011 Copa América, scoring in the 2–1 group stage defeat of Mexico.
Vidal scored 5 times in 11 appearances for Chile as the team qualified for the 2014 World Cup. At the tournament, he started in three of the La Roja's four fixtures, including the penalty shootout loss to Brazil in the round of 16.
On 11 June 2015, five days after appearing the 2015 Champions League final for Juventus, Vidal scored the opening goal of the 2015 Copa América from the penalty spot in Chile's 2–0 win over Ecuador at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago, having won the penalty himself when fouled by Miller Bolaños. In the team's next group fixture, Vidal scored twice – a header from a corner and another self-earned penalty – and set up another as the hosts drew 3–3 with Mexico on 15 June. In the final group game, a 5–0 win against Bolivia three days after his drunk driving charge, Vidal and Alexis Sánchez were rested by being substituted at half-time. On 4 July, in the 2015 Copa América final, Vidal scored from a penalty in Chile's 4–1 shoot-out victory over Argentina; in the final, he was voted Man of the Match, and was later named to the 2015 Copa América Team of the Tournament for his performances.
On 10 June 2016, Vidal produced a man of the match performance, scoring both goals in a 2–1 win over Bolivia in Chile's second group match of the Copa América Centenario. He provided two assists in Chile's 7–0 victory over Mexico in the quarter-final on 18 June, but also received his second booking of the tournament for a foul on Jesús Dueñas in the 38th minute, which ruled him out of the victorious semi-final match against Colombia. In the final of the tournament, a repeat of the previous year's tournament, against Argentina, the match once again went to a penalty shoot-out following a 0–0 deadlock after extra-time. Vidal missed Chile's first penalty, but his nation won the shoot-out 4–2 to defend the title. Vidal was once again named to the Team of the Tournament for his performances.
On 18 June 2017, Vidal produced a man of the match performance in Chile's opening match of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, scoring his nation's first goal in an eventual 2–0 win over Cameroon.
On 31 August 2017, Arturo Vidal announced that he could retire from the national team after he scored an own goal that resulted a 0–3 loss to Paraguay.Scores and results list Chile's goal tally first.
A versatile and hard-working player who played several different defensive and midfield roles in his early years, Vidal eventually found his position at Juventus in the centre as a box-to-box midfielder, capable of assisting his teammates in both defense and attack. Throughout his career, he has also been deployed as a central defender, as a defensive midfielder, as an attacking midfielder, or even on the wing, due to his crossing ability.
It was these displays for Juventus that led him to be nicknamed Il Guerriero ("The Warrior"), Rey Arturo ("King Arthur") and La Piranha by the Italian press for his hard-tackling and aggressive, tenacious style of play. Vidal is a complete midfielder, known for his marking, positional sense, tackling, and anticipation, attributes which allow him to be effective at intercepting passes, winning back possession, and subsequently starting an attack. He is also gifted with good technique, pace, and stamina, as well as good vision, good distribution, a powerful shot from distance, and an eye for goal. Having been the first-choice penalty shooter for Juventus, he is also an accurate penalty kick taker. Due to his strength and physical characteristics, he is also effective in the air. All these qualities have enabled him to become one of the leading exponents of his position.
At Juventus, Vidal became an integral part of the Bianconeri alongside teammates Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo in the club's three-man midfield, and has made a name for himself as one of the best players in the world in his position; Vidal credited his development and maturity as a player to club legends Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon. Vidal is also considered one of the most complete midfielders in the world due to his tackling abilities and his ability to support the team in both defence and attack at a high level. In 2013, Bloomberg ranked him the 11th-best player in Europe.
On 5 July 2013, EA Sports announced that they had featured Vidal on the Central and South American cover of FIFA 14, alongside global cover star Lionel Messi. The cover, however, would not be featured in the Brazilian version of the game.
On 16 June 2015, during the 2015 Copa América, Vidal suffered minor injuries when while under the influence of alcohol he crashed his Ferrari in Santiago. He left the hospital in a police car and was summoned to court to face charges for drunk driving. On 8 July 2015, Vidal was given a two-year driving ban, however he was allowed to continue playing in the Copa América that year.Colo-ColoTorneo Apertura: 2006, 2007Torneo Clausura: 2006JuventusSerie A: 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15Coppa Italia: 2014–15Supercoppa Italiana: 2012, 2013Bayern MunichBundesliga: 2015–16, 2016–17DFB-Pokal: 2015–16DFL-Supercup: 2016, 2017ChileCopa América: 2015, 2016Bundesliga Team of the Tournament: 2010–11Juventus Player of the Year: 2012–13Serie A Team of the Year: 2012–13, 2013–14Midfielder of the Season by Goal.com: 2012–13ESM Team of the Year: 2013–14Copa América Team of the Tournament: 2015, 2016MasterCard 2015 Copa América Final Man of the Match