The World Cup quarterfinals are now set, but some people would rather question Cristiano Ronaldo's bodily functions than focus on that. "Did Ronaldo spit toward the cameraman as he trudged off the pitch following Portugal's 1-0 loss to Spain in the round of 16?" Certainly there are more pressing questions to take away from the match, but as the camera got right up next to the upset superstar, he looked directly into the lens and hocked a loogie at the ground in front of its operator.
Whether done with rude intentions or not, the immediate reaction from many on Twitter was to accuse him of acting like a sore loser. The Daily Mail, meanwhile, is going with the easy headline of: "Cristiano Ronaldo's Spitting Mad at TV Camera after Portugal Exit" and Irish television pundits are debating the intent. The Sun, of course, is going to the extreme with a headline of: "Ron in world of shame after spit."
In the 2006 World Cup it was a wink to the Portuguese bench after Wayne Rooney was sent off in England's quarterfinal loss to Portugal that turned some fans against Cristiano Ronaldo. This time his lasting World Cup image could be a wad of spit.
It wasn't a great World Cup for Ronaldo. He scored just one goal in the only game Portugal wasn't held scoreless -- their 7-0 win over North Korea -- and despite the captain's efforts to carry his team, he just didn't get enough help to go deep into the tournament. With his over-gelled style and god-like confidence, Ronaldo has always been a "love him or hate him" type guy and the severity of your opinion of his final act on a 2010 World Cup pitch will probably depend on whether you have his picture in a frame or speared to your dartboard.
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- Cristiano Ronaldo