|Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo. – Photo eurosport.com|Viet Nam News
LISBON — Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo offered his support on Tuesday to Sporting Lisbon players in the wake of a horrific gang attack at the club’s training ground last week.
A 50-strong gang of masked and hooded men brutally attacked players and officials at training last Tuesday, leaving Dutch international Bas Dost requiring stitches to his neck.
"I’m 100 per cent behind them," Ronaldo, who started his career with Sporting after coming up through the club’s academy, told Portuguese television channel RTP.
"It’s a troublesome situation. I must always be on the side of the players and the coach. We are doing the same job."
But the Real Madrid star was reluctant to advise the Sporting players how to respond, saying he wasn’t "the person best placed to do so".
"Everyone makes their own decisions and you have to respect them," he added.
Twenty-three people have been remanded in custody following the attack on Sporting’s Alcochete training base in the Lisbon suburbs.
The incident came in the build-up to Sunday’s Portuguese Cup final, which Sporting lost 2-1 to unfancied Aves to complete a miserable end to the season.
Sporting finished third in the table following a defeat at Maritimo in their final game of the season to miss out on a place in the Champions League qualifying rounds. — AFP