An English mother has claimed Cristiano Ronaldo “attacked” her 14-year-old son when he appeared to slap the phone out of his hand following Manchester United’s defeat at Everton.
Sarah Kelly, from Upton, took her 14-year-old son Jake Harding to Goodison Park on Saturday to see Everton for the first time.
Ronaldo had returned to United’s starting XI and played the full 90 minutes of the 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park.
After the game, footage surfaced on social media which appeared to show the Portuguese striker slapping a phone out of the hand of an Everton supporter and onto the ground as he headed towards the tunnel.
Ms Kelly told the Liverpool Echo that her son recorded the United players going through the tunnel at the end of the game.
She said Ronaldo walked by in a “terrible rage” and “smashed” the phone out of her son’s hand.
“At full-time, Man United players started leaving. We were at Park End, so we were right by the tunnel where they walked by — my son was there and filmed them all,” she said.
“He filmed all the United players as they walked through. And then he lowered his phone because Ronaldo had pulled his sock down and his leg was bleeding. He lowered his phone to see what it was – he didn’t even speak.
“Ronaldo then just walked by, with a horrible, horrible temper, and smashed the phone out of my son’s hand and kept walking.”
Ms Kelly said the incident ruined her son’s first playing experience at Goodison Park.
“I cried, I was shattered, Jacob was in total shock — he’s autistic and he also has dyspraxia, so he didn’t really digest what happened until he got home now,” she said.
“He’s really upset about it and it’s completely put him off going back to the game. This is the first football game he’s been to and it happened.”
“We had an absolutely brilliant day up to the final seconds when they came off the pitch. It completely ruined the day and left us with a bad taste.”
Ms Kelly added: “I would understand if Jake was waving that in his face but he wasn’t near his face it was down on the ground checking on his injury.”
She shared pictures with the Echo of her son’s hand and phone after the incident.
Later on Saturday night, Ronaldo released a statement on his personal Instagram account to apologize – and also invited the supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford “as a sign of fair play and sportsmanship”.
“It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments like the one we’re facing,” Ronaldo said.
“Nevertheless, we must always be respectful and patient and set a good example for all young players who love the beautiful game.”
“I would like to apologize for my outrage and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a show of fair play and sportsmanship.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/mother-claims-cristiano-ronaldo-assaulted-her-son-at-end-of-manchester-uniteds-defeat-to-everton-41538878.html Mom claims Cristiano Ronaldo ‘attacked’ her son at the end of Manchester United’s loss to Everton.