Santiago: Chilean soccer star Arturo Vidal was arrested for drunk driving Tuesday after crashing his Ferrari on the outskirts of Santiago, police said.
The Juventus midfielder, currently starring in his country’s bid to win the Copa America on home soil, suffered “minor injuries”.
His wife, who also was in the red sports car, had “moderately serious injuries,” police colonel Ricardo Gonzalez told reporters.
“Because he was driving under the influence of alcohol … (Vidal) is being held,” Gonzalez said. He refused to discuss the level of alcohol in Vidal’s system.
Immediate details about the crash were scarce, but officials said Vidal’s car had collided with another vehicle.
The player posted a short video message on YouTube, in which he tried to reassure his fans.
“Today, I had a car accident. It was not my fault. I’m fine, my family’s fine. Thank you for everything,” Vidal said, giving a thumbs-up.
Several Twitter users posted photographs of what they said were Vidal’s car, which was badly mangled on the driver’s side. The car’s airbags appeared to have deployed.
It was not immediately clear how Vidal’s arrest would affect his participation in the tournament. Vidal, 28, who plays for Italian giants Juventus, is one of the biggest stars of Chilean football and a key figure in the country’s attempts to win the Copa America.
The midfielder is currently the tournament’s top goalscorer, having scored a penalty in the opening victory against Ecuador last Thursday before scoring twice in Monday’s 3-3 draw with Mexico in Santiago.
Chile, currently top of Group A, meet Bolivia in their final first round match on Friday.
The combative midfielder is no stranger to controversy. In 2011 he was among a group of several players who were sanctioned and kicked out of a Chilean squad camp after turning up late to training. He was subsequently welcomed back to the fold after apologizing.
Earlier this season Juventus handed the midfielder a club record 100,000 euro ($112,000) fine after he was allegedly involved in a drunken brawl outside a Turin nightclub.