x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Portugal dismantle Spain, but Nani sorry to Ronaldo

Portugal winger Nani apologised to teammate Cristiano Ronaldo for denying the Real Madrid star a memorable goal in their side's 4-0 friendly victory

Nani, the Portugal winger, apologised to teammate Cristiano Ronaldo for denying the Real Madrid star a memorable goal in their side's 4-0 friendly victory over the world champions Spain.

Ronaldo looked to have put Portugal ahead with a superb effort in the first half, the £80 million (Dh470m) man cleverly turning inside Gerard Pique before scooping his shot over his Madrid clubmate Iker Casillas.

The effort was dropping into the net but Nani raced in from an offside position to head the ball in from point-blank range, leading to the goal being disallowed.

The Manchester United midfielder Nani said after the game: "I touched the ball because I thought I wasn't offside. Everything happened so quickly.

"After having time to think about it I apologised to Ronaldo. It was a great piece of play and I shouldn't have ruined it."

Ronaldo, who threw his captain's armband onto the pitch in anger after the goal was disallowed, felt the ball had already crossed the line before Nani got to it.

"I don't understand, even a blind man could see it was a goal, the ball was half a metre into the net," he said in Marca.

"I don't know if it's a coincidence or not but my best goals with the national team are being disallowed. I remember an overhead kick in the Bessa stadium which wasn't given."

The incident did not end up costing Portugal dear as they would go on to record an emphatic victory over their Iberian neighbours, gaining a small measure of revenge for their World Cup exit in the process.

Spain beat Portugal in the last-16 in South Africa before going on to be crowned world champions for the first time.

Nani, speaking to RTP, said of his side's victory in Lisbon: "The squad have been fantastic. It's an excellent group and we are united in trying to defend well and score goals.

"With the players that we have and when we are playing well, we are going to be capable of scoring a lot of goals to win matches."