Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes has defended the Portugal forward after he was criticised for his comments following last week’s Euro 2016 with Iceland, insisting the Real Madrid star should be considered as a role model for children.
Ronaldo was heavily criticised after complaining that Iceland had showed a “small mentality” despite coming from a goal behind to draw 1-1 in their opening fixture last Wednesday.
“Iceland didn’t try anything,” said Portugal’s captain. “They were just defend, defend, defend and playing on the counterattack. It was a lucky night for them. We should have three points but we are OK. I thought they’d won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end. It was unbelievable.”
Portugal coach Fernando Santos backed his star player’s reaction ahead of their second match against Austria at the Parc des Princes on Saturday, saying that Icelandic players had booed and heckled the forward and defender Pepe throughout. But Mendes, who also represents new Manchester United manager José Mourinho and several other high-profile players, went a step further in an interview with Portuguese newspaper O Jogo.
“Cristiano is the best example for our society and youth,” he said. “Not only is he known for his footballing quality but also in terms of humanity.
“He’s an example of determination and ambition on and off the field. Cristiano is the best athlete in the world and of all time. And if there were a prize to distinguish the best person, he would also win it because he’s a great father and friend.”
This article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Saturday 18th June 2016 14.32 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010