Cristiano Ronaldo was the subject of plenty of attention after appearing to slap a phone out of a fan’s hand after Manchester United’s defeat at Everton on Saturday
Image: Manchester United via Getty Imag)
Ronaldo was accused of assaulting 14-year-old Jake Harding by the Everton fan’s mother, with Merseyside Police releasing a statement after the 37-year-old appeared to slap a phone to the ground as he walked down the tunnel. The FA is also looking into the incident, while the United player has issued a statement.
The Portugal international apologised on Instagram and offered to take the affected fan to a game to make up for it. However, Jose Enrique has his own views on a man he faced more than once during his own Premier League career.
“I always said it. Don’t like him. He believes [he] is god and can do whatever he wants,” the Spaniard wrote in an Instagram story over the top of a video of the Ronaldo incident.
The former defender stressed that his attitude towards Ronaldo was based on personality rather than ability, though. “That doesn’t take that [he has] been one of the best players in the history of football but as a person [I] don’t like him,” he added.
While Jose Enrique never faced Ronaldo’s United in a Liverpool shirt, he did so twice during his spell at Newcastle. The Red Devils were victorious on both occasions, winning 6-0 at Old Trafford in 2008 – with Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick – and 2-1 at St James’ Park the following year.
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“It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing,” Ronaldo wrote on Instagram after United’s defeat. “Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game.
“I would like to apologize for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship,” he added.
Ronaldo had been making his return at Goodison Park after illness forced him out of United’s home draw with Leicester City a week earlier. However, neither he nor any of his teammates were able to find a way past Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, and Anthony Gordon’s first half decider left United with just five points from their last five Premier League games.
The result leaves Ralf Rangnick’s side seventh in the Premier League, six points behind fourth-placed Tottenham after the London club won 4-0 at Aston Villa. However, defeats elsewhere for Arsenal, West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers means Rangnick’s men didn’t lose any additional ground in the race for Europe.