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Turkish President Makes Bizarre 'Palestinian' Assumption About Cristiano Ronaldo

© AFP 2023 OZAN KOSETurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a protest rally in Istanbul on May 18, 2018, against the recent killings of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza-Israel border and the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a protest rally in Istanbul on May 18, 2018,  against the recent killings of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza-Israel border and the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem. - Sputnik India, 1920, 27.12.2022
During his nearly two-decade-long illustrious career, Cristiano Ronaldo has stayed away from the Israel-Palestine conflict, never speaking about it in public.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has raised eyebrows online following his bizarre suggestion about football megastar Cristiano Ronaldo.
During a recent youth event in the eastern Turkish province of Erzurum, Erdogan declared that CR7 faced a "political ban" during the recently concluded FIFA World Cup in Qatar due to his alleged support for the Palestinian cause.

"They have wasted Ronaldo. Unfortunately, they have imposed a political ban on him. Sending a footballer like Ronaldo to the pitch with just 30 minutes remaining to the match ruined his psychology and took away his energy," Erdogan said. "Ronaldo is someone who stands for the Palestinian cause."

What Happened to Ronaldo During World Cup in Qatar?

Erdogan's remarks were in the context of Portugal coach Fernando Santos' decision to bench the five-time Ballon d'Or winner in the Round of 16 clash against Switzerland and in their 1-0 defeat against Morocco in the quarterfinals.
While the Funchal-born football star remained on the sidelines for the majority of time versus the Swiss, he came on the field against the Moroccans as a substitute in the second half.
The loss to Morocco ended Ronaldo's hopes of winning the World Cup title despite having become the first player to score in five different editions of football's greatest competition because it was possibly his last appearance in the global event.
The 37-year-old eventually left Doha with tears in his eyes.
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo enters the pitch during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Morocco and Portugal, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. - Sputnik India, 1920, 22.12.2022
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Netizens in Doubts

Erdogan's comments, however, were not appreciated on social media, as a section of netizens blasted his theory on the former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward.
"Erdogan is suffering from megalomania," a Twitter user claimed.
"That's the most absurd comment I have ever heard. We all seen the Palestine supporters with the flags, including the national team of Morocco. How can it be Ronaldo of all people was banned?" another wondered in disbelief.

"[The] Turkish president falling for the Ronaldo PR that pushed the 'Palestine support' narrative in an attempt to get the support of the Muslim world," a third summed up.

Does Ronaldo Really Support Palestine? Facts Suggest 'No'

Indeed, Erdogan's claim regarding Ronaldo's alleged support for the Palestinian cause seems to be far-fetched.
The former Portuguese captain has never taken sides on the Israel-Palestine issue in the past despite multiple fake reports and doctored photos of Ronaldo being circulated online.
In 2019, his management company rebuffed reports that CR7 gave away $1.59m in charity to a Palestine non-profit after auctioning one of his major footballing awards.
Another instance of a doctored image of Ronaldo appearing on the Internet happened after the Spanish earthquake of 2011, when a picture with the caption "Together with the Palestinians" went viral on a social network.
Talking about Ronaldo's ties with the footballing bodies of both Palestine and Israel, the former Juventus talisman has maintained his neutrality in public.
Yes, Ronaldo was seen wearing a Palestinian scarf when he met the Palestinian football association chief, Jibril Rajoub, a couple of years ago. On the other hand, he has interacted with a number of Israeli ministers and was even pictured gifting one of his football jerseys to Israel Katz, a former foreign minister of the Jewish state.