Arturo Vidal did not call Cristiano Ronaldo a “smart ass,” with a translation error leading to incorrect headlines this week, Chile’s press secretary says.
Vidal spoke to reporters in Moscow on Sunday after Chile’s 1-1 draw against Australia in the Confederations Cup, which set up a semifinal clash against Ronaldo’s Portugal.
Bayern Munich midfielder Vidal said that “There is no ‘cuco‘ in Portugal,” while answering a question about Ronaldo.
The remark in Chilean Spanish means “bogeyman” or “one to fear,” but in Castilian Spanish can also mean “crafty” or “sly.”
German reports used the term “Schlaumeier,” or “wise guy,” which then became “engreido” in the Spanish press, which could mean “spoilt brat,” “vain,” “arrogant,” “big-headed” or “bumptious.”
Spain’s Mundo Deportivo published a story with the headline “Arturo Vidal: ‘Cristiano Ronaldo is a spoilt brat, he doesn’t exist to me.'” One headline in English read: “Cristiano Ronaldo is a smart a** … he doesn’t exist to me.”
But Chile secretary Maria Jose Vasconcelos told ESPN FC on Tuesday that “the statements are false.”
Vasconcelos added: “The only thing Arturo Vidal said about Cristiano Ronaldo was in the mixed zone, and they asked if he was afraid of the ‘cuco.'”
There were no press activities for the Chile national team on Monday, Vasconcelos said, and on Tuesday only coach Juan Antonio Pizzi and Marcelo Diaz spoke in a news conference.