Cristiano Ronaldo single-handedly kept his Portugal side in their opening World Cup match against Spain on Friday night.
The 33-year-old scored a hat-trick with a snarl and revelled in being the villain – smiling and winking at Real Madrid teammate Nacho after the full-back brought him down to concede a penalty.
The Portuguese forward’s ego was forefront. He walked around the park, sprinting only at opportunities to score (which he converted emphatically) and celebrated the 3-3 draw as if it was a victory, leading some critics to suggest he cared more about his individual performance than the result for his team.
So when a tweet seemingly showing a wonderful moment before the game with two excited, smiling mascots went viral, people were taken aback.
It certainly showed a human side to him that contrasted with the arrogant performance on the park.
When you meet #Ronaldo ⚽️⚽️⚽️ #CristianoRonaldo #Cristiano #PortugalVsSpain #PortugalEspana #Portugal #MARIRN #Spain #EspanaPortugal #FridayFeeling #FifaWorldCup2018 #Rusia2018 #WorldCup #WorldCupRussia2018 #WorldCup2018 #ModoMundial pic.twitter.com/7vdRKfCgIe
— Kren Feliz (@karenfelizlive) June 15, 2018
Viral but old
Media outlets, commentators and brands began to piggyback on the video.
— Radio Times (@RadioTimes) June 16, 2018
Football is brilliant. pic.twitter.com/pp1zzCxlUX
— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) June 16, 2018
LOVE THIS https://t.co/PsiieoYJ32
— YELLOW CLAW (@YELLOWCLAW) June 15, 2018
THIS! 😍 https://t.co/xdHbyiLpv4
— Paulo Senra 🇵🇹⚽️ (@paulosenra) June 15, 2018
There is one slight problem. The footage is not fake, but it is being shared under incorrect pretences. The incident actually occurred before the Euro 2016 final against France, yet people have been sharing it as if it were new.
During coverage of the France v Australia match on Saturday morning, BBC presenters referred to the footage as having occurred during Friday night’s match. Mark Chapman especially was criticised on Twitter for bringing up the clip without contextualising it correctly.
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The video is heartwarming and a fantastic example of football’s ability to inspire. But it is old.
More on the World Cup:
France beat Australia thanks to VAR: but should the Griezmann penalty have been given?
It’s now or never for Leo Messi – especially after Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick rescues Portugal
Spain have five days to fix the cracks brutally exposed by Ronaldo