Cristiano Ronaldo’s sister has called Portugal fans ‘sick, petty, soulless, stupid and ungrateful’ in a rant against the forward’s critics.
Manchester United striker Ronaldo faced criticism in his homeland after two underwhelming performances in the Nations League.
The Portuguese press called for the 37-year-old to be dropped before the 1-0 defeat to Spain on Tuesday.
One of the country’s biggest publications, ‘A Bola’, had the headline: ‘menos Ronaldo, mais Portugal’, which translates into ‘less Ronaldo, more Portugal’.
Criticism grew louder after the Spain loss, which denied Portugal a place in the last four of the Nations League, and many fans want Diogo Jota or Joao Felix to start up front for the upcoming World Cup.
Ronaldo has played a staggering 191 times for his country and holds the record for most international goals with 117.
His sister, Katia Aveiro, leapt to the Red Devils forward’s defence with a lengthy post on Instagram.
She said: “He has his family and those who love him by his side. They will always be by his side, no matter what.
“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.
“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.
“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.”