A video of Cristiano Ronaldo smashing a phone after Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to Everton on Saturday afternoon has gone viral.
The Portuguese veteran, 37, was filmed making his way down a tunnel at Goodison Park when he appeared to throw the object to the ground with his right hand.
Ronaldo and his United team-mates were being booed and heckled as the incident unfolded. Several police offers were watching nearby and did not intervene. Ronaldo was carrying a shin pad in his left hand after suffering a nasty gash on his left leg.
United have launched an investigation and Ronaldo later apologised on social media for his outburst, inviting the fan in question to a game at a later date.
Writing on Instagram, Ronaldo said: “It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing. Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game.
“I would like to apologize for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship.”
United remain seventh in the Premier League following their defeat on Saturday afternoon, three points behind Tottenham in fourth having played a game more. Arsenal and West Ham are also in contention for Champions League football next season.
Everton’s winner came through Anthony Gordon. The 21-year-old’s first-half strike deflected off Harry Maguire to gift the Toffees a priceless win. They’re now four points clear of Burnley in 18th and just two behind Leeds in 16th.
Speaking to BT Sport, United goalkeeper David de Gea revealed his frustration. “We knew before today they were struggling and how difficult it was going to be,” said the Spain international. “We don’t score, we don’t even create proper chances to score.
“I don’t know what to say, to be honest. We’re not good enough, that’s for sure. It’s going to be very difficult now to be in the top four. Of course it’s not the perfect atmosphere. They were tired, they were nervous, but they keep going and keep fighting. They had more desire than us, which is not acceptable. It’s very sad to lose today.”
United interim manager Ralf Rangnick was also unimpressed with the result, highlighting the team’s lack of creativity in the final third. “If you don’t score a single goal in 95 minutes we have to be disappointed,” the German coach told BT Sport.
“We had a good start and should have created more chances out of that domination. Then we concede a deflected shot and lost a bit of our composure. The second half we were trying to add creativity with substitutions but we didn’t always take the right decision.
“We had to do something. We needed a goal and we decided to bring Mata and more verticality with Elanga. They were defending with their players in the last 35 minutes. We didn’t find the right player at the right moment. We didn’t have enough players in the box when we played crosses.”
United have just seven league games remaining, with three of those against Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. On their top four hopes, Rangnick added: “As long as we don’t win our own games it doesn’t make sense to hope for good results from the other teams.”