The Portugal winger Nani has apologized to his team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo after denying the Real Madrid winger a memorable goal in their side’s 4-0 friendly mauling of the world champions Spain.
Ronaldo looked to have put Portugal ahead with a superb effort in the first half, after cleverly turning inside Gerard Piqué before scooping his shot over Iker Casillas.
The stunning 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.
“I touched the ball because I thought I wasn’t offside. Everything happened so quickly,” explained Nani. “After having time to think about it I apologized to Ronaldo. It was a great piece of play and I shouldn’t have ruined it.”
Ronaldo, who threw his captain’s armband on to 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 meter into the net,” he told 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.”
The incident did not end up costing Portugal dear as they would go on to record an emphatic victory over their Iberian neighbors, gaining some measure of revenge for their World Cup exit in the process. Spain beat Portugal in the last 16 in South Africa before going on to be crowned world champions for the first time.