Cristiano Ronaldo rejects Ireland player’s shirt request as Man Utd star gifts it to child | Football | Sport

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Cristiano Ronaldo was spotted turning down a shirt swap offer from Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu in order to gift it to a young girl following Portugal’s goalless draw in their World Cup qualifier at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday evening. The one-time European champions were unable to break the deadlock against the spirited hosts, who were backed by a sell-out crowd for the visit of Ronaldo and his team-mates.

The United striker went close to finding the back of the net on a number of occasions, but ultimately came up short as Portugal were forced to share the points with Ireland at the full-time whistle.

The visitors were frustrated when veteran defender Pepe was sent off after picking up a second yellow card during the closing stages to rule him out of Sunday’s all-important showdown with Serbia in Group A.

Ireland huffed and puffed as the clock ticked down, but missed the opportunity to claim an unlikely last-gasp winner under the lights in Dublin.

Ronaldo was quickly approached by Ireland stopper Bazunu after the match, with the 19-year-old trying his luck to see if he could get his hands on the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s shirt.

However, the Portsmouth keeper was denied as Ronaldo turned down his request in order to hand his shirt to a young girl instead.

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The emotional fan was made up as she received the gift before she was led off the pitch by stewards.

It marked the second time that Ronaldo has been approached by a pitch invader with hopes of getting his matchworn shirt in recent weeks.

A different fan entered the field of play to ask for Ronaldo’s shirt following United’s win over Atalanta in the Champions League last month.

As he made his way to the tunnel area after the full-time whistle, a spectator raced over in a desperate attempt to share a priceless moment with his footballing hero.

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However, he was quickly taken down by stewards upon laying a hand on Ronaldo’s shirt.

The 36-year-old has not had much to shout about over the last few days, with Thursday’s lacklustre draw with Ireland coming just five days after United’s humiliating defeat at the hands of Manchester City in the Premier League.

Ronaldo was unable to get on the scoresheet against the club he almost joined over the summer before sealing a dramatic return to Old Trafford on a two-year contract.

He has recently been blamed for United’s recent struggles, with critics suggesting that his influence in the dressing room is having a negative impact on the club’s hopes of achieving success.

However, Ronaldo declared earlier this month that he is confident in his ability to bring silverware back to United during his second spell in Manchester, insisting that he is enjoying the challenge on offer at Old Trafford.

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I go to my bed with my conscience very good,” he told Sky Sports. “Keep going with that because I will still close mouths and win things.

“Criticism is always part of the business. I’m not worried about that. And I see it as a good thing to be honest.

“If they worry about me or they speak about me, it’s because they know my potential and value in football still. So it’s good.

“I’ll give you an example: if you’re in a school and you’re the best student, you ask the worst student if he likes the best, they’ll say they don’t like him.

“I think the main word is that I’m still happy and enjoying football. It doesn’t matter how many things I won in my career. I win everything but I’m still motivated.”





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