CRISTIANO RONALDO will fight any ban after accepting an FA charge for smacking a mobile phone out of a boy’s hand.
He will be backed by Manchester United when he pleads for leniency having this week pleaded guilty to FA rule E3 relating to improper and/or violent conduct.
Old Trafford boss Erik ten Hag also gave his support although he had first appeared to suggest that 700-goal superstar would contest the case.
When asked if Ronaldo had responded after being charged for the incident at Goodison Park that brought him a police caution he said: “We spoke about that.
“He will not accept it.”
What was lost in translation was the Dutchman insisting that Ronaldo should not be suspended.
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United will also argue that there were mitigating circumstances surrounding the incident that took place after Everton had won 1 – 0 on April 9.
A video emerged of him appearing to knock the phone out of the hand of 14-year-old Jake Harding as he tried to film him limping away from the pitch.
Ronaldo later apologised on social media and invited the youngster to be his guest for a game at Old Trafford.
He wrote: “It's never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing.
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“Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game.
“I would like to apologize for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship.”
But the boy rejected Ronaldo’s invitation and his mother also criticised United’s response to the incident.
Ironically it was also at Goodison that Ronaldo hit that landmark figure of 700 strikes during a 2-1 comeback win.
He went on as a sub to clinch Sunday’s victory but will start in tomorrow's Europa League clash with Omnia Nicosia.
The 37-year-old will do so with Ten Hag indicating that he may be prepared to let him start Prem games again.
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Ronaldo has done so only once this season – in the 4-0 humiliation at Brentford and has been a substitute in the five league games since.
With Anthony Martial battling against the back injury that saw him replaced by Ronaldo against Everton, the Portuguese could line up against Newcastle United on Sunday from the first whistle.
Yet while ten Hag offered Ronaldo a carrot he also used a stick for the player who spent the summer bidding to leave for a club competing in this season’s Champions League while missing all of pre-season training.
Ten Hag stressed Ronaldo will have to his orders, saying: "I want to support him as good as possible.
“So we have a certain demand on players, what we expect from him in certain positions on the pitch and what I do, as with other players, is I want to get the best out of them.
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“He is getting in better shape now and I am happy with that, so he can contribute more to the squad and I'm sure he will do.
“In the start, it was definitely the case and it's proven once again no one can miss pre-season.”
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