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Ronaldos reaction was unacceptable as captain - Portugal star set bad example after disallowed goal, says Meira

29-Mar-2021, 09:10 pm

Cristiano Ronaldo Serbia Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldos explosive reaction to seeing a goal for Portugal disallowed was unacceptable, according to Fernando Meira, who says the striker should be setting a better example as captain.

Ronaldo thought he had given Portugal all three points during a World Cup qualifier Serbia on Saturday after knocking a beautifully flighted cross-field pass from Nuno Mendes into the net.

The 36-year-olds effort clearly crossed the line despite Aleksandar Mitrovic getting back to clear the ball, but the referee waved play on after consulting with his linesman, sending the five-time Ballon dOr winner into a furious fit of rage.

Ronaldo threw his captains armband down and stormed off the pitch after seeing the goal chalked off, with the match ultimately ending 2-2.

Meira thinks his old team-mate was right to question the incorrect decision, but felt hewent too far with his protests given his responsibilitiesas the leader of the national team.

“Cristianos reaction is natural, but it is not acceptable for a national team captain," the former Portugal international told Record.

"He cannot throw the armband on the ground and go to the locker room while the game continues. it is not acceptable for a player of his importance.

"I understand his frustration and I agree with him because his goal was valid, but the referees have to make decisions, without VAR, and he has to set an example.

"The example he set last night wasnt good enough."

Portugal appeared to be cruising towards their second successive victoryin Group A after racing into a two-goal lead in the first half against Serbia.

Liverpool frontman Diogo Jota scored twice to put Fernando Santos side in control, but the hosts fought back, withMitrovic halving the deficit just after the break.

Filip Kostic then grabbed an all-important equaliser for Serbia on the hour mark, before the match officials took centre stage.

Serbia were reduced to 10 men whenNikola Milenkovic was sent off in stoppage time, and Portugal then began pushing forwards in extra numbers to make the extra man count.

Ronaldo wheeled away in celebration after scoring what seemed to be a dramatic winner, only for the linesman to deny him by failing to flag for a goal.

Ronaldo vented his frustration after the incident on social media, telling his followers on Instagram: "I always give and will give everything for my country, that will never change.

“But there are difficult times to deal with, especially when we feel that an entire nation is being harmed.”

No retrospective action has been taken against Ronaldo for leaving the pitchbefore the end of play, and he will, therefore, be available to feature then Portugal take in a trip to Luxembourg on Tuesday night.

After that fixture, the five-time Ballon dOr winner will return to Juventus, who are due back in Serie A action away at Torino on April 3.

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