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Cristiano Ronaldo opens up on recent suspension for provoking fans

Cristiano Ronaldo recently sparked controversy in Saudi Arabia when he reacted petulantly to Al Shabab supporters who were chanting Lionel Messi's name when their team faced Ronaldo's Al Nassr. Ronaldo, who enjoyed a long-standing rivalry with Messi when the pair played in La Liga, didn't take the comments well and responded by holding his hand in front of his crotch area before repeatedly moving it back and forth.

The provocative and suggestive gesture wouldn't have gone down well in most places but of all places to do it, the incredibly modest, Saudi Arabia wasn't the smartest decision. The Portuguese forward was slapped with a one-game suspension for the gesture and was fined $8,000.

It wasn't the first time that Ronaldo has reacted unkindly to fans chanting Messi's name in the Saudi Pro League but he has confirmed that it will be the last. Speaking ahead of Al-Nassr's AFC Champions League clash with Al Ain, the former Real Madrid man said:

“I will always respect the cultures of all countries, as I have respected to this day, but not always what people see is reality. As I said and I will say again, it is obvious that I will not do it again in this country, but in Europe, it is very normal. Sometimes, the passion and excitement of the game leads us to make some mistakes.”

cristiano ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo will hope he can make amends in Saudi Arabia – Photo by Icon Sport

Can Ronaldo make amends?

The severity of Ronaldo's actions may seem minor in Europe but in Saudi Arabia, it was seen as a shocking thing to do. If he wasn't Cristiano Ronaldo and the biggest star in the league then he likely would have been given a more severe punishment.

As it is, Ronaldo only missed one game – Al Nassr's 4-4 draw with Al Hazm – a result that all but ended their title aspirations. He will now have to make amends by helping his side overturn their 1-0 deficit in the AFC Champions League as the road to redemption begins.


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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