The five-time Ballon d’Or winner thought he scored an added time winner, but it was not given.
Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted he wears Portugal’s captain’s armband with pride and angrily threw it to the ground because “a whole nation is hurt”.
Portugal’s World Cup qualifier with Serbia on Saturday ended in controversy, as Ronaldo appeared to have a legitimate goal not scored in added time.
He reacted furiously to the final whistle, and stormed the tunnel after throwing the armband off after a 2-2 draw.
Portugal had blurted out a two-goal lead but launched a late attack and Ronaldo believed he scored a dramatic winner by stabbing a shot past Serbian goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic.
He went into celebration, when the ball was caught by Serbian defender Stefan Mitrovic.
Ronaldo was convinced the ball had crossed the finish line, and TV reruns seemed to support that assessment, but the referee’s assistant did not give the goal.
After continuing his protests, Ronaldo was cautioned by referee Danny Makkelie, and soon after he stormed the pitch – leaving his armband behind.
What was said?
The legendary striker’s reaction raised eyebrows, especially the dropping of his armband, and he took to Instagram to explain his actions.
“Being captain of the Portugal team is one of the greatest privileges of my life and fills me with pride,” said Ronaldo. “I always give and I will give everything for my country, this will never change.
“But there are difficult times to deal with, especially when we feel like an entire nation is affected.”
Portugal face Luxembourg on Tuesday and Ronaldo has issued a rally call.
“Lift up your head and face the next challenge now,” he said. “Come on, Portugal.”
No criticism from the boss
Portugal coach Fernando Santos was also unhappy with the controversial incident, demanding the introduction of the technology, and said Ronaldo’s reaction was due to frustration and disappointment.
“I was told he didn’t react well,” Santos said. “It’s the normal frustration of those who score Portugal’s winning goal that doesn’t count.”