Johannesburg, Jun 16: Portugal's star striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, who was given a yellow card in the Group G opener on Tuesday, Jun 15, has spoken out against rough tackling by the opponents specifically targeting the skillful players such as himself.
Speaking to The Sun, Ronaldo said, "Referees should protect the more skillful players when they are getting fouled by the opposition."
Ronaldo's 11th minute attack against Ivory Coast was followed by a tiff between the striker and Ivorian Guy Demel. Both the players were booked.
"One of their players fouled me in the first half and I got a yellow card for it. I don't understand it. When it is three against one, as it was with their players against me, it is not fair to book me.
"Sometimes it is difficult for me when referees give fouls because they think I dive," he added.
The manager Carlos Queiroz also came in support of the Portuguese star saying, “The Ivory Coast players made intimidating tackles. Ronaldo was the victim of a bad decision."
The first 'Group of Death' tie-up between Ivory Coast and Portugal, which ended in a goal-less draw, was a tight game with rough playing and fouls from both the sides.