Osman Bukari of Ghana claims he only imitated Cristiano Ronaldo’s signature celebration because he was “overcome by emotion” and denies disrespecting the striker during his team’s World Cup loss to Portugal.
Thursday’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Ghana in Doha marked Portugal’s World Cup debut.
Ronaldo won and successfully converted a penalty to give Portugal the lead midway through the second half. This was Ronaldo’s first game following his contentious interview with Piers Morgan and his subsequent release from Manchester United.
In doing so, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner moved ahead of longtime rival Lionel Messi with nine World Cup goals and became the first person to score at five World Cups.
With ten minutes left, Portugal, the 2016 European champions, were leading 3-1, but Red Star Belgrade winger Bukari’s late header for Ghana’s second goal of the night set up a tense finish.
Having given Ghana a chance for a late comeback, Bukari ran to the side of the field and imitated Ronaldo’s signature celebration.
This sparked accusations that the Ghanaian star was disrespecting Ronaldo, who didn’t appear to be happy as he watched the action from the bench after being substituted off, but Bukari insists there was no intent to offend.
On social media, he claimed that he had seen Cristiano Ronaldo’s celebration that day and that it had led to criticism that he had been disrespectful to the player.
The statement is untrue. His celebration was brought on by his emotions as he scored for his nation in his first World Cup game.
Being disrespectful to elders, let alone one of his idols, is against his upbringing. Regarding our upcoming game, we appreciate your support.
In the meantime, Bruno Fernandes, a former teammate of Ronaldo’s at Manchester United, is rooting for the 37-year-old to succeed at the World Cup and move past the controversy at Old Trafford.
The future of Cristiano Ronaldo is uncertain, but Bernardo Silva of Manchester City is adamant that he can still succeed at a top club.