Cristiano Ronaldo insists gesture that saw him banned is ‘normal’

Cristiano Ronaldo has reiterated the gesture that saw him banned and fined in the Saudi Pro League is “very normal” in Europe.

It emerged in late February that Ronaldo was facing an investigation after responding to fan chants of ‘Messi’ by repeatedly thrusting his hand in front of his groin in the aftermath of Al Nassr’s 3-2 win over Al Shabab.

The former Real Madrid and Manchester United forward was then handed a one-game suspension and fined by the Disciplinary and Ethics Committee of the Saudi Arabia Football Federation.

While stopping short of explicitly apologising, Ronaldo again claimed the act is normal in his home continent and added he got carried away during a moment of elation.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo has return from his suspension / Yasser Bakhsh/GettyImages

He said: “What I did was a misunderstanding.

“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. Whenever I make them, I don’t do it on purpose. Every day I try to be a better man.

“What I can promise is that I am a player who gives everything on the field, a player with passion, a player who always wants to win.

“I’m a player who doesn’t like to see people doing unsportsmanlike things. I am happy to be in Saudi Arabia and happy to represent Al Nassr.”

Al Nassr‘s bid for the Saudi Pro League title looks set to be a fruitless one, currently sitting 12 points behind leaders Al Hilal.


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