Cristiano Ronaldo News

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Fergie hits back over Ronaldo

Sir Alex Ferguson has hit back at claims that Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo dived at Middlesbrough on Saturday.

The Red Devils boss is upset that the Portguese winger has been singled out for criticism after falling under Mark Schwarzer's challenge at The Riverside.

Boro boss Gareth Southgate fuelled the debate by accusing Ronaldo of simulation but Ferguson offered a strong defence of his young talent.

"Gareth's a young manager, you have to give him a chance to settle in," he said at a press conference.

"Can I say something? We don't condone diving. I've said that time and again.

"Ronaldo's aware of that. The first thing that happened was he was hacked from behind and the referee didn't book the player. It only encourages players to keep kicking him.

"He's the most fouled player in the country. All the stats are there.

"What is more serious? Preventing the best players to play or to go on for three days about a dive that wasn't a dive.

"I've looked at it a million times. No way is a player going to give up an opportunity to score in an empty goal.

"Ronaldo was sent off against Manchester City for intent. Steve Gerrard got a penalty for intent at the start of the season.

"It's an interpretation in the referee's hands. I think it was a penalty kick.

"Why the keeper doesn't go for it with his hands, I've no idea. He tried to prevent him from scoring and, for me, it was a clear penalty. He lost his balance because of that."



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