Cristiano Ronaldo’s explosive reaction to seeing a goal for Portugal denied was unacceptable, according to Fernando Meira, who said the forward should set a better example as captain.
Ronaldo believed he gave Portugal all three points in a World Cup qualifier in Serbia on Saturday after hitting a beautifully stolen cross pass from Nuno Mendes into the net.
The 36-year-old’s effort clearly crossed the line despite Aleksandar Mitrovic returning to clear the ball, but the referee waved after consulting with his linesman, sending the five-time Ballon d’Or winner into a fit of furious rage.
What was said?
Ronaldo threw off his captain’s armband and stormed the pitch after seeing the goal scored, with the game ultimately ending 2-2.
Meira believes her former teammate was right to question the incorrect decision, but felt he had gone too far with his protests given his responsibilities as the national team leader.
“Cristiano’s reaction is natural, but it is not acceptable for a captain of a national team,” said the former Portugal international. Record.
“He can’t throw the armband on the floor and go to the locker room while the game is going on. This is not acceptable for a player of his importance.
“I understand his frustration and agree with him because his goal was valid, but the referees have to make decisions, without VAR, and he has to lead by example.
“The example he gave last night was not good enough.”
A night to forget for Portugal and Ronaldo
Portugal appeared to be heading towards their second consecutive Group A victory after taking a two-goal first-half lead against Serbia.
Liverpool leader Diogo Jota scored twice to put Fernando Santos’ side in control but the hosts fought back with Mitrovic cutting the deficit in half just after the break.
Filip Kostic then landed a very important equalizer for Serbia on time, before the match officials took center stage.
Serbia were reduced to 10 men when Nikola Milenkovic was sent off in the stoppage time, and Portugal then started pushing forward in extra numbers to make the extra man count.
Ronaldo walked away to celebrate after scoring what appeared to be a dramatic winner, only for the linesman to turn him down by failing to score a goal.
What did Ronaldo say after the game?
Ronaldo expressed frustration over the incident on social media, telling his Instagram followers: “I always give and will give my all for my country, that will never change.
“But there are difficult times to deal with, especially when we feel like an entire nation is affected.”
No retrospective action has been taken against Ronaldo for leaving the field before the end of the game, and he will therefore be available to then present Portugal on a trip to Luxembourg on Tuesday night.
After that game, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will return to Juventus, who are due to return to Serie A in Turin on April 3.