Cristiano Ronaldo's sister has accused Portugal fans of being "sick" and "stupid" as the Manchester United star comes under fire from his own countrymen.
Katia Aveiro took to social media and posted a lengthy message in support of her beleaguered brother, who failed to score in a 1-0 loss to Spain. Even before the clash, Portuguese media had called for the 37-year-old to be dropped.
It comes amid a tough campaign for United, where he has had to settle for a spot on the bench under Erik ten Hag – starting just one Premier League match. Katia hit out at the critics, accusing them of "spitting on the plate they eat from".
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"He has his family and those who love him by his side. They will always be by his side, no matter what," she wrote on Instagram in support of her brother. "But the current times don't surprise me at all.
"The Portuguese spit on the plate they eat [from], it has always been that way. That's why when someone appears from the ashes and changes mentalities, it bothers… With you always, my king. Calm down."
The 44-year-old then turned to Ronaldo's critics, writing: "It is necessary to give a hand to those who have always given theirs to Portugal.
"But the Portuguese are sick, petty, soulless, stupid, ungrateful and forever ungrateful. This guy who's sitting, he's on his knees… There's no one to give him a hand."
Ronaldo has scored just once this season – a penalty against Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League. He has started just once in the Premier League – a 4-0 defeat to Brentford and has not netted in the Premier League.
Katia added: "It is cruel. And it was already so much, but so much that he gave and gives. The one sitting is called Cristiano Ronaldo and he is just the best player in the world."
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