Nani apologizes to Ronaldo over goal

Published Nov. 18, 2010 10:12 p.m. ET

Portugal winger Nani has apologised to team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo for denying the Real Madrid forward a stunning individual goal with an equally-stunning piece of greedy goal-hanging during their side's 4-0 friendly mauling of world champions Spain.

Captain Ronaldo looked to have put Portugal ahead with a superb effort in the first half, the £80million man cleverly turning inside Gerard Pique before scooping his shot over Madrid club-mate Iker Casillas.

The effort was dropping into the net but Nani raced in from an offside position to head the ball in from point-blank range, leading to the goal being disallowed.

Replays suggested that Nani may have been onside at the moment Ronaldo chipped towards goal, and that the ball had already crossed the line when Nani made contact with it, but the Manchester United man was in contrite mood afterwards.

"I touched the ball because I thought I wasn't offside. Everything happened so quickly," he said after the game.

"After having time to think about it I apologised to Ronaldo. It was a great piece of play and I shouldn't have ruined it."

Ronaldo, who threw his captain's armband onto the pitch in anger after the goal was disallowed, felt the ball had already crossed the line before Nani got to it.


"I don't understand, even a blind man could see it was a goal, the ball was half a metre into the net," he said in Marca.

"I don't know if it's a coincidence or not but my best goals with the national team are being disallowed. I remember an overhead kick in the Bessa stadium which wasn't given."

That incident did not end up costing Portugal dear as they would go on to record an emphatic victory over their Iberian neighbours, gaining some measure of revenge for their World Cup exit in the process.