Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted that footage of alleged incidents with Portugal teammates Bruno Fernandes and Joao Cancelo has been blown out of proportion following his controversial interview.
Having spoken openly of his frustrations at Manchester United, Ronaldo’s first meeting with Old Trafford teammate attracted plenty of attention after he appeared to be given an uncomfortable welcome by the midfielder, before Ronaldo appeared to frustrate Manchester City’s Cancelo in a later training session.
Asked about both incidents during a surprise press conference on Monday, Ronaldo was adamant that there was nothing of interest going on.
“It was another one that, unfortunately, went wrong for us,” Ronaldo said of the footage with Fernandes. “My relationship with him is excellent. His plane arrived late and I simply asked if he had come by boat. I was goofing around.
“It was the same with Cancelo. He had a tough start to training, so I grabbed him by the neck and said: ‘Wake up, come on, you’ve got this’. Another controversy on your end.”
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Portugal’s World Cup opener comes against Ghana on Thursday, before which Ronaldo admitted even winning the tournament would not end the debate over whether he is the game’s best-ever player.
“Even if I win the World Cup that will continue. Some people like me more, some less. It’s like in life, some like blondes, some like brunettes.
“I have always had to show what I can do year after year, especially for myself, family and fans. Everyone has an opinion. I respect that.
“I would live to win this tournament. I’m ambitious but if you tell me I won’t win any more tournaments I would still be happy given all I have won. I would be happy with my achievements. In the history books all other records will be there. But obviously a World Cup on the shelf wouldn’t be bad. It would be a dream. I hope all the energy is on the right side and on our side.”