Cristiano Ronaldo has told Piers Morgan he was sent a touching letter from the late Queen after the death of his baby son earlier this year. The Manchester United footballer also said paid tribute to English footballer fans for their “spectacular” support, which saw him applauded by rivals across the country in the wake of the tragedy.
Portuguese international Ronaldo, 37, opened his heart to Morgan during their lengthy and wide-ranging interview on TalkTV, during which he also said he felt “betrayed” by Manchester United and questioned the commitment of younger footballers.
However, he set aside all sporting considerations when questioned by Morgan about the death of the infant in April, which he and wife Georgina Rodríguez confirmed via Instagram.
Morgan asked Ronaldo about the backing he received at the time, including rounds of applause in the seventh minute of games – matching his shirt number – at grounds including Anfield, home of Liverpool, United’s fierce rivals.
He admitted: “I never, ever expected that. Never. I have the opportunity now to say, to the English community, thank you a lot for that, it kind of helped with me.
He continued: “I received a letter from The Queen’s family as well and that surprised me a lot.
“This is why I say, I respect a lot, the English community, English people, because they’ve been very kind with me. And in that difficult moment of my life, the support was spectacular.
“The way they treat me, me and my family in that difficult moment, I should say straight to the camera thank you, ‘thank you, to the all English community that helped me in that moment’.”
Speaking about his son, whose twin sister survived, he added: “His ashes are with me, like my daddy, they are here in the house.
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“I am really proud of the message they send me, especially my son.”
Last year a wild rumour on Twitter suggested the Queen had asked for Ronaldo’s iconic shirt – although these were rapidly shown to be false.
Manchester United’s fan channel, The United Stand, tweeted: “Queen Elizabeth has personally requested that Man United reserve the first shirt to be signed by Cristiano Ronaldo, meaning Ronaldo becomes the only human being Queen Elizabeth has asked for an autograph.”
Another excited Red Devil tweeted: “This is the best story of the year. The Queen is actually asking for Ronaldo’s autograph. That has to make him better than Messi now!”
However, The United Stand subsequently removed the post.