A young Ireland fan received Cristiano Ronaldo’s shirt after Portugal drew with Stephen Kenny’s side on Thursday. Lingard thrilled to have Ronaldo back at Man Utd Sign up HERE for the latest MUFC breaking news and transfer updates
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Cristiano Ronaldo ordered security guards at the Aviva Stadium to leave a young pitch invader alone before giving the fan his shirt after Portugal’s draw with the Republic of Ireland on Thursday evening. Ronaldo played the entire 90 minutes in Dublin but was unable to inspire his side to victory, with neither team able to break the deadlock in their World Cup qualifying clash.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner came close to scoring on a number of occasions but ultimately came up short, with Ireland holding on to secure a famous draw in front of a capacity crowd.
The visitors were left to dig their heels in when veteran defender Pepe was dismissed for a second bookable offence during the closing stages of the match.
Ireland huffed and puffed as they tried to make their extra man count, but were ultimately forced to share the points with the one-time European champions at the final whistle.
Shortly after the end of the match, Ronaldo was approached by 11-year-old Addison Whelan, who had entered the field of play in order to speak to her footballing idol.
She was quickly chased down by security guards but was saved by the Manchester United forward’s intervention, with Ronaldo instructing them to leave her alone.
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Ronaldo gave his shirt to a young Ireland fan after Thursday’s game (Image: GETTY)
He went on to give an emotional Addison, who plays for Shelbourne under-13s, his match-worn shirt before she was escorted back towards the stands.
Addison told RTE Radio 1: “I jumped over the barrier because I was in the second row. I jumped over the first row and over the barrier.
“Then I sprinted onto the pitch, but there were security guards running behind me and there was another two coming from the other corner so I just kept sprinting.
“When I saw the other two coming from the other corner, I ran more towards the halfway line so then I could swerve around them, but then they caught me.
“Then I was just screaming Ronaldo’s name. He turned around and he saw me and he was telling them to leave me.
“So then I was calling him over. He came over to me. I was just in shock and crying and I was like ‘Can I have your jersey? Please, please. I’m a big, huge fan’.
“He was saying ‘Are you okay?’. When my dad saw him taking off the shirt, my dad’s face was just in shock.
“I was like ‘Oh my God, this is it, this is my dream, it’s finally coming true’. That was probably his last time playing in Ireland.
“He [Ronaldo] said I appreciate that and everything.”
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Portugal were held to a goalless draw at the Aviva Stadium (Image: GETTY)
Ireland managed to successfully contain Ronaldo and his star-studded Portugal side on Thursday evening with an impressive defensive performance in Dublin.
Manager Stephen Kenny hailed his team’s efforts in his post-match press conference, insisting that Matt Doherty was wrongfully denied a legitimate goal in stoppage time.
“Will Keane stands his ground and the goalkeeper is actually the proactive one, so it’s a legitimate goal that’s cancelled so we’re disappointed with that,” Kenny told reporters.
“The players are in the dressing room having drawn with previous European champions, a talented team. We’ve drawn 0-0 and we’re disappointed.
“We’ve played them twice. And leading out there until the 88th minute.”