World Cup fans have turned on Cristiano Ronaldo over a gesture from the Portugal captain on injured rival Edinson Cavani, whose two goals saw Uruguay reach the quarter-finals.
Cavani was forced off in his team’s last-16 match against Portugal in the second half with a leg injury, in what is a worrying sign for the Uruguayans.
RONALDO’S SHORTS: Bizarre free kick routine sends internet into a spin
WONDER GOAL: Stunning strike inspires France comeback win
The Paris Saint-Germain striker had already bagged a brace in the contest, putting Uruguay up 2-1, but was unable to continue in the 74th minute as he limped off the field with the assistance of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cavani signalled he was unable to continue and was immediately replaced by Cristhian Stuani.
The images of Ronaldo putting his arm around Cavani and helping his rival walk off the field appeared to be a respectful gesture from the Portuguese superstar.
But fans on social media are convinced the Real Madrid star had an ulterior motive.
— LorenaPopa🕵️♀️ 🏆🥖👑 (@popalorena) June 30, 2018
Fair play???? He wanted Cavani to get the heck out of the field faster !!!
— El Orangután (@CaleroFavio) June 30, 2018
He wasn’t helping he was trying to rush him …… smh y’all don’t know nothing
— Sergio (@snajera4) June 30, 2018
Haha. Ronaldo was rushing him because the time was clicking. He had to score to tie the game.
— Katty Torres (@Kacon18) June 30, 2018
Cavani had been instrumental in his side’s performance to that point, having opened the scoring in the seventh minute after making an excellently timed run to get on the end of a cross into the area by fellow forward Luis Suarez.
Then, after Pepe had drawn Portugal level from a corner kick, Cavani turned on the magic once more.
After getting played into space at the edge of the area by Rodrigo Bentancur, Cavani delivered a curling drive from just inside the area that bent around Rui Patricio and into the net, scoring what ultimately proved the winner for the South American side.
It was his third goal of the tournament, having opened his account in Russia with a goal against the hosts in the final group stage game as Uruguay claimed a 3-0 victory.
However, 10 minutes later, Cavani was done, limping off in obvious pain. He required assistance to make it off the field, provided by Ronaldo, who aided his opponent all the way to the touchline.
“I hope it’s nothing,” Cavani said post-match. “We’ll see what happens, we’ll do exams. I felt pain and could not continue on the pitch.”
Thanks to Cavani’s brace, Uruguay advanced to the quarter-final on July 6 against France, meaning he will have six days to get fit for that clash at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.