Cristiano Ronaldo has apologised after a video appeared to show him slapping a young fan’s phone to the ground.
EvertonHub shared the clip on Twitter, writing: “Ronaldo smashing someone’s phone at full time.”
A number of fans took to the comments section to express doubt over whether it was a phone, to which EvertonHub replied with a photo that appears to be taken just after the incident alongside the comment: “Now tell me that isn't a phone.”
The mum of the 14-year-old boy who was at the receiving end of Ronaldo’s outburst has claimed that the pro footballer ‘assaulted’ him, bruising his hand while knocking his device to the floor.
Sarah Kelly, from Upton, told the Liverpool Echo: "At full-time the Man United players started walking off.
“We were in the Park End so we were right by the tunnel where they came walking past - my son was there videoing them all.
"He filmed all the United players walking through. And then he lowered his phone because Ronaldo had pulled down his sock and his leg was bleeding.
“He lowered his phone to see what it was - he didn’t even speak.
"Ronaldo then just walked past, with a terrible, terrible temper and smashed the phone out of my son’s hand and carried on walking."
The 37-year-old footballer has since responded to the incident on Instagram to share his apology and invite the young fan to a match at Old Trafford.
“It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing,” he wrote.
“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.”
As is always the case with football, the fans were divided. Dozens of people applauded the player, with one writing: “You are the greatest of all time.”
But others weren’t convinced, including this person who said: “What are people applauding?? You smacked a phone out of a child’s hand.”
A second quipped: “As if breaking his phone isn't bad enough.... you want to force him to watch United.”
Merseyside Police have confirmed they are liaising with both Manchester United and Everton to investigate the report that the boy was assaulted.
A spokesperson for Merseyside Police told the Liverpool Echo: "Inquiries are underway and officers are currently working with Everton Football club to review CCTV footage and are carrying out extensive witness enquiries to establish if an offence has taken place.
"Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police Contact centre quoting reference number 228 of 9 April 2022."
Featured Image Credit: @evertonhub/Twitter/Alamy
- Cristiano Ronaldo called out for celebrating goal that 'he didn't even touch'
- Mum And Autistic Son Who Was 'Assaulted' By Cristiano Ronaldo Are Refusing To Meet The Player
- Crash Of Cristiano Ronaldo's £1.7m Bugatti Veyron Is Surrounded By Mystery
- Cristiano Ronaldo's sister says he could 'scratch his balls' and not damage his legacy