Cristiano Ronaldo must have felt like raising his middle fingers after scoring a hat-trick against Lithuania on Thursday night.
The Portugal forward entered the international break on the back of some unsavoury comments at Juventus that were all started by his early substitution against AC Milan.
For the second time in as many games, Maurizio Sarri hauled off Ronaldo shortly after half time and was greeting with an unsavoury reaction from the frustrated 34-year-old.
It was even reported that Ronaldo left the stadium before the game finished and that Juventus could open disciplinary proceedings over their star man's behaviour.
But what we do know for a fact is that Sarri put the decision down to fitness, remarking after the game: "Ronaldo is not in great shape at the moment.
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Ronaldo widely criticised
"Over the last few days he’s had a bad knee, so to compensate for it he is putting more strain on the adductor."
Only, the criticism didn't end there. Former Juventus manager Fabio Capello bizarrely entered the fray to aim a jab at Ronaldo's dribbling ability, claiming that he's declined over the last three years.
“The truth is that Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t dribbled [past] an opponent for three years," the Italian said. "I did the La Liga commentary when he usually took the double step and left you there.
"Now there is Dybala and Douglas Costa, who made two sensational goals. They win games without Ronaldo."
Friends and family fight back
However, criticise Ronaldo at your peril.
That's because a few members of Ronaldo's close circle have now fired back at Sarri and Capello; newly armed with the ammunition of his superb Portugal performances.
If you're familiar with Ronaldo's sisters, then you know they have a knack at responding to criticism on social media and the latest example is no different with BOTH firing shots at the Juve boss.
According to The Sun, Katia Aveiro simply wrote on Instagram with a picture of Ronaldo: "Don't mess with him."
And per Corriere dello Sport, his other sister Elma chipped in: "God does not fail. He is fit, so now what?"
Sarcasm towards Capello
In other words, Sarri shouldn't mess with their brother and has some answering to do after proving his fitness so emphatically on Portugal duties.
Then, Ronaldo's close friend Miguel Paixao lined up Capello in his crosshair and sarcastically asked: "I think you should have also dribbled past the defence before scoring."
To be fair, it's hard to disagree with Paixao. Ronaldo's style of play resembles more of a poacher now and he simply doesn't have to dribble past defenders to produce the scoring record he has.
Quite whether Ronaldo appreciates such passionate comments in his defence, particularly against his own manager, remains to be seen.
One thing is for sure, though, you better be ready for the backlash if you dare criticise Ronaldo.News Now - Sport News