Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron was left red-faced this week when confusing Ronaldo, the legendary Brazilian striker and former World Cup winner, with his Portuguese namesake, Real Madrid star Cristiano.
Fourneyron, speakiung at a reception at the Brazilian Embassy in Paris, compounded her error when referring in a speech to next year’s World Cup as “the 2016 World Cup...and its formidable ambassador, Cristiano Ronaldo”.
This provoked smiles all round, with Fourneyron later posting on her twitter page: “Not much good with first names! A little bit tired at the Brazilian embassy tonight Ronaldo was the 1st to laugh..”
As she referred to in her tweet this is not the first time she has been caught out by first names - in August she called France’s triple jump world champion Teddy Tamgho “Thierry”.
Ronaldo, one of the next year World Cup’s ambassadors, played for Brazil in 98 international matches, scoring 62 goals, and was part of the side that won the 1994 and 2002 World Cups.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s participation meanwhile at the next year World Cup hinges on Portugal safely negotiating this month’s play-off with Sweden.