Ronaldo gets icy reception in Munich | india | Hindustan Times
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Ronaldo gets icy reception in Munich

india Updated: Jul 06, 2006 03:51 IST

Cristiano Ronaldo, a hate figure in England after his involvement in Wayne Rooney's sending off, discovered Wednesday that the animosity has spread well beyond English shores.

The Portugal winger was loudly jeered whenever he touched the ball in Portugal's 1-0 semi-final loss to France at Munich's Allianz Arena, a chorus that was relentless from start to finish.

While there was a smattering of England flags and fans in the stadium, the booing came from many of the 66,000 people packed into the impressive complex, with Ronaldo in tears at the end of the game, though that was probably more to do with losing than the personal abuse.

He didn't help himself with several blatant dives, one of which had French coach Raymond Domenech angrily gesturing the international sign for diving from the sidelines to the referee.

Another, a first half penalty claim, saw Ronaldo climb high to get on the end of a Luis Figo cross only to fall theatrically to the ground.

Former England striker Alan Shearer, commentating for the BBC, said: "Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty claim was a dive straight away. He flings himself forward."

Yet the hostile reception didn't deter the dangerous winger.

Instead, he appeared to be fired up by it and his lightning speed and trickery on the ball caused all sorts of problems for the French defence, as he played first on the left, then on the right and then as centre forward.

His part in Rooney's red card in their quarter-final showdown sparked outrage in England and calls for Sir Alex Ferguson to show him the door at Manchester United.

Rooney was sent off for stepping on Ricardo Carvalho's groin, but it was Ronaldo's 40 yard dash to protest to the referee and his subsequent wink at his bench after the England striker was dismissed that rattled so many cages.

He later said there was no animosity between the two of them, but the reaction of the crowd in Munich suggests plenty remains between him and football fans.

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