Euro 2016: What Cristiano Ronaldo really told Aron Gunnarsson when asked to swap shirts
Cristiano Ronaldo was in the news for all the wrong reasons after Portugal drew 1-1 with Iceland in their first Group F encounter at UEFA Euro 2016. The Real Madrid forward had spoken of Iceland’s small team mentality and criticised them for celebrating a draw.
“Iceland didn't try anything,” Ronaldo had said. “They were just ‘defend, defend, defend’ and playing on the counter-attack.
“It was a lucky night for them. We should have three points but we are okay. I thought they'd won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end.”
While Ronaldo was visibly upset after the game, he was approached by Aron Gunnarsson to swap shirts seconds after the last kick of the game – a Ronaldo free-kick that crashed into a resolute Iceland wall. The Cardiff City player went over to Ronaldo and asked if they could swap shirts.
But Ronaldo refused and said something to Gunnarsson which wasn’t audible on television. But certain media outlets reported that Ronaldo had looked down upon him and asked, “Who are you?”
The Portuguese star was roundly criticised for that move and faced a lot of flak on social media when the reports did the rounds. However, Gunnarsson confirmed that that was actually not the case.
Ronaldo said he would swap jerseys in the dressing room: Gunnarsson
At a press conference ahead of Iceland’s second match against Hungary at the Velodrome in Marseille, Gunnarsson explained what actually took place when he asked for Ronaldo’s shirt.
“It is true that I asked for his shirt,” the Iceland defender said. “But he did not ask me who I was. He said, ‘No problem. But inside (in the dressing room).’
“It’s something I wanted to do. I am a big Manchester United fan and he played for Manchester United so that’s why I wanted to change shirts with him.
“I’m tired of this [false] story and I just want to focus on the next game. That is in the past and I will have no more to say.”
While Gunnarsson had nothing more to say, his teammate Kari Arnason did have a lot to say following Ronaldo’s outburst.
“He’s just a sore loser,” Arnason said. “He didn’t want to lose the game. What does he expect; for us to play like Barcelona against him?
“He fannies about and dives around. Obviously, we were the underdog, we played like the underdog and we were unlucky not to win the game.”
Hungary are currently top of the group with three points after they upset Austria in the first game while Portugal and Iceland are on a point apiece. While Iceland take on Hungary in Marseilles, Portugal and Austria face off at the Parc des Princes in Paris on Saturday.