Cristiano Ronaldo has apologised after claims he smashed a young Everton fan’s phone as he walked off the pitch after Manchester United’s defeat.

Shortly after the final whistle, videos emerged that claimed to show Ronaldo smashing a phone.

However, they were inconclusive.

Better angles of the incident came before the Portuguese star issued an apology and offered the young fan a trip to Old Trafford.

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But now, the mum of 14-year-old son Jake Harding has given an interview to the Liverpool Echo telling the whole story.

Sarah Kelly has explained how Jake, who is autistic and got dyspraxia, was attending his first ever match and was left with a bruised hand after being ‘assaulted’ by the Man Utd star.

“At full-time the Man United players started walking off,” Sarah explained. “We were in the Park End so we were right by the tunnel where they came walking past – my son was there videoing them all.

“He filmed all the United players walking through. And then he lowered his phone because Ronaldo had pulled down his sock and his leg was bleeding. He lowered his phone to see what it was – he didn’t even speak.

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“Ronaldo then just walked past, with a terrible, terrible temper and smashed the phone out of my son’s hand and carried on walking.

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“You can see by the bruise that he’s made contact. I just can’t believe I’m talking about it.

“I was crying, I was shook up, Jacob was in complete shock – he’s autistic and he’s got dyspraxia as well, so he didn’t really digest what was happening until he’s come home now.

“He’s really upset about it and it’s completely put him off going to the game again. This is the first football game he’s been to and this has happened.

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“We had an absolutely brilliant day up until those final few seconds when they came off the pitch. It’s completely ruined the day and put a bad taste in our mouth.

“He’s an idol. Yes, he’s not from Everton and you like who you like, but Ronaldo’s a big player. My son’s always been like ‘Ronaldo’s going to be there’ – he’s an icon.

“I’d understand if Jake was waving it in his face but he wasn’t near his face, it was down by the floor checking his injury.

“He’s an autistic boy and he’s been assaulted by a football player, that’s how I see it as a mum.”

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Late on Saturday, Ronaldo posted a statement on Instagram.

He wrote: “It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing. Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game. I would like to apologize for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship.”

Meanwhile, Merseyside police released the following statement themselves: “We can confirm that we are liaising with Manchester United Football Club and Everton FC following reports of an alleged assault at the Everton v Manchester United football match today (Saturday 9 April 2022) at Goodison.

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“As players were leaving the pitch at 2.30pm it was reported that a boy was assaulted by one of the away team as they left the pitch.

“Inquiries are underway and officers are currently working with Everton Football club to review CCTV footage and are carrying out extensive witness enquiries to establish if an offence has taken place.

“Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police Contact centre quoting reference number 228 of 9 April 2022.”

While Ronaldo has made headlines with his actions, let’s not forget the victim in all of this. We hope he’s okay and he’s soon back at Goodison Park enjoying watching his beloved Everton again.

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