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28th Jun 2017

It turns out Arturo Vidal didn’t say those things about Cristiano Ronaldo

"The statements are false"

Robert Redmond

Lost in translation.

On Tuesday, reports emerged claiming Arturo Vidal had insulted Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Cristiano is a smart ass,” Vidal was alleged to have told reporters in Russia when asked about the Confederations Cup semi-final between Chile and Portugal.

“For me he does not exist. I have already told my Bayern Munich teammate [and Germany international] Joshua Kimmich that we will meet again in the final.”

On first inspection, the quotes seemed peculiar. We’ve all seen and read enough interviews with professional footballers to know they rarely speak in such derogatory terms of rivals.

The Mail Online, which is definitely not the same thing as The Daily Mail, appeared to be the first English language publication to pick up the quotes, but no source was provided beyond “Vidal told reporters in Russia.” While, according to Spanish media outlet Mundo Deportivo, Vidal called Ronaldo “a cocky one.”

However, it turns out Vidal didn’t insult the Real Madrid forward. According to ESPN, Maria Jose Vasconcelos, the press secretary for the Chilean team, has said that “the statements are false.”

Following Chile’s 1-1 draw with Australia last Sunday, Vidal was asked if he was afraid of the “cuco” in Portugal’s team. The Bayern midfielder reportedly replied:

“There is no ‘cuco’ in Portugal.”

In Chilean Spanish, “cuco” means “bogeyman”. In other words, Vidal was disputing that he is worried about Ronaldo, Portugal’s best player, or that the Portuguese team has a “bogeyman.”

However, according to ESPN, in Castilian Spanish, “cuco” means “crafty” or “sly.” It appears this was lost in translation and it was reported that Vidal had insulted the Portuguese captain.

Chile play Portugal on Wednesday night in Kazan for a place in Sunday’s final.