The five-time Ballon d’Or winner thought he had scored a goal in injury time, but it wasn’t hit.
Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted that he proudly wears the Portugal captain’s armband, and that he threw it to the ground in anger because “an entire nation is being harmed.
Portugal’s World Cup qualifying match with Serbia on Saturday ended in controversy, as Ronaldo appeared to have a legitimate goal that was missed in injury time.
He reacted furiously to the final whistle and rushed down the tunnel after dropping the armband after a 2-2 draw.
Portugal had let a two-goal lead slip away but launched a late attack and Ronaldo thought he had scored a spectacular goal when he stabbed a shot past Serbian goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic.
He started in celebration, the moment the ball was cleared by Serbian defender Stefan Mitrovic.
Ronaldo was convinced that the ball had crossed the line and television replays seemed to support that assessment, but the assistant referee did not score.
After continuing his protests, Ronaldo was reprimanded by referee Danny Makkelie, and shortly thereafter left the court, leaving his armband behind.
What was said?
The legendary forward’s reaction raised his eyebrows, especially as he ditched his armband, and took to Instagram to explain his actions.
“Being captain of the Portugal team is one of the greatest privileges of my life and it fills me with pride,” said Ronaldo. “I always give and I will give everything for my country, that will never change.
“But there are difficult times to face, especially when we feel that an entire nation is being harmed.”
Portugal faces Luxembourg on Tuesday and Ronaldo issued a call for support.
“Raise your head and face the next challenge now,” he said. “Come on, Portugal.”
No criticism from the boss
Portugal coach Fernando Santos was equally unhappy with the controversial incident, demanding that technology be introduced and saying Ronaldo’s reaction was due to frustration and disappointment.
“They told me he didn’t react well,” Santos said. “It is the normal frustration of those who score the winning goal for Portugal that doesn’t count.”