Arturo Vidal has hit back at former Juventus team-mate Giorgio Chiellini, who said in his autobiography that the Chilean’s weakness was alcohol.
Chiellini spent four seasons at Juve with Vidal, who is now at Barcelona, and said that although the midfielder was a “champion,” his fondness for partying held him back.
“A footballer isn’t a devil or a saint. The distinction to be made is quite another. That is, between those who are real and those who are fake,” Chiellini wrote in an excerpt printed by SOS Fanta.
“Someone like Vidal sometimes went out and drank more than they should’ve. Everyone knew it. It can be said that alcohol was a bit of a weakness for him.
“However, that doesn’t put into question whether he is a champion or which type of person he is. Weaknesses are part of human nature. What matters are the consequences they can have on a squad.”
Vidal didn’t take kindly to his former team-mate’s words, suggesting that he broke a code of silence in the dressing room, although he did add that the 35-year-old had called him to explain his comments.
“People have focused on the worst things Chiellini said. I don’t see why one should say those things, it annoyed me,” Vidal said in an Instagram Live chat.
“But he also said that I was a champion. He called me and explained to me. I didn’t do anything I couldn’t do. I was allowed to go out. I am a human being like everyone else. I work hard and if friends meet for an asado [social event] with the club’s permission, I’ll go too.
“If I have to stay focused, I do it, but when it’s my turn to have fun I take advantage of it, I’m just like the others. When I was wrong, I paid and got up.”
He added: “In football there are codes.”
Vidal isn’t the first player Chiellini has crossed with his words in his autobiography, as the centre-back also hit out at former team-mates Mario Balotelli and Felipe Melo.
Chiellini apologised to Balotelli for saying the striker “deserved a slap” for his attitude during Italy’s 2013 Confederations Cup campaign. The veteran defender also called former team-mate Melo “the worst of the worst” and “a bad apple.”