Portugal’s gentleman-footballer Figo comes to CR7’s defence over party furore

Luís Figo, Portugal’s gentleman-footballer currently bidding to become the next FIFA president, has hit out at critics slating his fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo for celebrating his 30th birthday in style following an embarrassing 4-0 derby defeat.

The Real Madrid striker has been slated by fans for going ahead with a lavish party that is reported to have cost over €400,000 after his team bombed massively against Atlético last weekend.

“Your laughter, our shame” was held up by supporters in protest to the event which saw revellers feasting on Beluga caviar and lobster before enjoying a fireworks display and heading to gaming tables to play poker and blackjack.

It was later revealed that Ronaldo had been asked by Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez to cancel the affair, as Pérez knew how fans would take it.

Nonetheless, Figo is having none of the furore which has been setting social media alight.

“Anyone who doubts Cristiano Ronaldo’s passion for professionalism and that of Real Madrid’s is completely without knowledge of their history and character,” the dashing former winger tweeted.

And the following day, Portugal’s national team coach Fernando Santos vowed that the CR7 would “respond with art and goals” to redeem his reputation and win back the support of his fans.

By NATASHA DONN [email protected]