figo slams ronaldo tantrums

MADRID - Former Portugal international Luis Figo criticised Cristiano Ronaldo yesterday after the Real Madrid star's reaction to his country's World Cup round of 16 exit against Spain.

Ronaldo was accused of spitting in the direction of a cameraman as he walked off the pitch after the 1-0 defeat at Greenpoint Stadium in Cape Town on Tuesday night.

When questioned about why Portugal had crashed out of the World Cup, Ronaldo told reporters: "You should ask the coach."

Figo, who also wore the captain's armband for his country, said: "My notion of what a captain should do is maybe different to other people. But I think the captain, regardless of whether the team wins or loses, always has to defend the group.

"In the most difficult moments, it is his job to stand up for the team."

Ronaldo limited himself to comments made on the website of Gestifute, the company owned by his agent, where he said: "I am completely devastated, frustrated and feel an unimaginable sadness."

Defending himself against accusations that he had blamed Queiroz for the loss to Spain, he said: "When I said put the question to the coach, it is because Carlos Queiroz was holding a press conference. I am a human being, and like any human I suffer and have the right to suffer alone." - Sapa-DPA