Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo has been charged by the FA after appearing to smack a phone out of a fan’s hand in last season’s loss to Everton at Goodison Park.
The Red Devils suffered a 1-0 defeat to Frank Lampard‘s men last term courtesy of a goal from Anthony Gordon, which further threatened Man United’s hopes of Champions League football.
Ronaldo was the subject of taunts from Toffees fans as he headed back down the tunnel after the game, and he was filmed ostensibly smashing a supporter’s phone onto the ground.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was cautioned by Merseyside Police at the time of the incident, and the FA have now confirmed that he has been hit with an improper conduct charge.
“Cristiano Ronaldo has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3 for an incident that took place after Manchester United FC’s Premier League match against Everton FC on Saturday April 9, 2022,” the statement read.
“It is alleged that the forward’s conduct after the final whistle was improper and/or violent.”
Ronaldo put out an apology on social media for his actions at Goodison Park at the time, posting: “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.”
Man United have publicly responded to the FA charge, insisting that the club will be supporting the attacker: “We note the FA announcement in relation to Cristiano Ronaldo. We will be supporting the player in response to the charge.”
Ronaldo has only been a peripheral figure under Erik ten Hag after missing most of pre-season due to family issues, while he also allegedly tried and failed to force a move away from the club as well.
The former Real Madrid and Juventus attacker is without a goal in six Premier League matches – although he has only started one of them – but he did net from the penalty spot against Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League earlier this month.
Ronaldo is currently with the Portugal squad as they prepare for September’s Nations League clashes with the Czech Republic and Spain, as they sit second in League A Group 2 after four matches.
Following the international break, Man United will aim to win their fifth Premier League game in a row when they meet Manchester City at the Etihad on October 2 for the Manchester derby.
Should Ronaldo end up forcing a move away from Old Trafford in 2023, Man United are supposedly considering reigniting their interest in Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane as a potential replacement.