- Cristiano Ronaldo snapped the phone from a 14-year-old fan after losing on Saturday.
- A former Premier League player says the incident shows Ronaldo thinks he is ‘God’.
- Ronaldo is being investigated by local police following the incident at Goodison Park, Liverpool.
A former Premier League football player has said Cristiano Ronaldo thought ‘he was God’ after the Portuguese star smashed an angry young fan’s phone.
The Portuguese striker slapped the phone of Everton supporter Jake Harding, 14, after Manchester United lost to Everton on Saturday.
Harding was trying to film Ronaldo as he left the pitch at the final whistle.
Sharing footage of the incident on Twitter, Jose Enrique – who played for Newcastle and Liverpool and retired in 2017 – said: “I’ve always said it. I don’t like him, he thinks he’s God and can do whatever he wants.
“That’s not to say he was one of the best players in football history, but as a person I don’t like him.”
—José enrique (@Jesanchez3) April 10, 2022
After Saturday’s incident, Harding’s mother Sarah Kelly said Ronaldo’s slap left her son with a bruised hand.
“He’s an autistic boy and he was mugged by a football player – that’s how I see him as a mum,” she said.
Merseyside Police confirmed on Sunday they are investigating an ‘alleged assault’ on ‘a boy by one of the away team members’ and will speak to all parties involved, while Ronaldo issued a Instagram post on Saturday night apologizing for the outburst.
“It’s never easy to manage your emotions in difficult times like the one we are facing,” the 37-year-old wrote. “Nevertheless, we must always be respectful, patient and set an example for all young people who love the beautiful game.
“I would like to apologize for my outburst and, if possible, would like to invite this supporter to watch a match at Old Trafford as a sign of fair play and sportsmanship.”
Kelly told the Echo on Monday that Harding had declined Ronaldo’s invitation to go to Old Trafford, while she also called his apology “savage”.
“If someone attacked him in the street and then asked us for dinner, we wouldn’t do it. Just because he’s Cristiano Ronaldo, why would we do it? It’s like we owe him a favor, but I’m sorry we don’t,” she said.
“We kindly declined the offer to go to United because Jake doesn’t want to go and he doesn’t want to see Ronaldo. He made that pretty clear.”