PARIS — Memo to reporters at the European Championship: Don’t disturb Cristiano Ronaldo on his morning stroll, AP reports. .
Already enduring a frustrating tournament on the field, the Portugal star was clearly unhappy to be approached by a reporter for the TV station of a Portuguese tabloid and asked how he was feeling ahead of Wednesday’s match against Hungary at the European Championship.
“Are you ready for the game?” the 31-year-old Ronaldo was asked as he walked with teammates beside a lake in a park, with some Portuguese security personnel shielding them from fans.
Ronaldo responded to the seemingly harmless question by snatching the microphone off the reporter and apparently throwing it into the lake. The incident happened in front of a crowd of journalists and watching fans, and the reporter was ushered away by security.
The three-time world player of the year has had his issues with the tabloid in question, Correio da Manha, threatening to sue it twice over reporting about his private life. Ronaldo, the most high-profile player at Euro 2016, is not having the best of times in France.
He has failed to score in 22 attempts on goal across Portugal’s first two matches, which ended in draws against Iceland and Austria. One of his chances was a penalty, which he struck against the post against Austria.
Previously, Ronaldo attracted negative headlines for belittling Iceland’s defensive tactics after the smallest nation ever to play in a European Championship held Portugal to a 1-1 draw. It perhaps shows Ronaldo is feeling the pressure as Portugal struggles to get out of Group F, heading into the game against Hungary in Lyon.
Meanwhile over in the United States, Lionel Messi — Ronaldo’s big soccer rival — cannot stop scoring and setting up goals in Argentina’s march to the Copa America final. Messi scored one goal, a brilliant free kick, to break his country’s career scoring record and set up two others in Argentina’s 4-0 win over the U.S. team in their semifinal Tuesday.