An old image of Portugal footballer Cristiano Ronaldo giving an interview to a hijab-clad woman at an event in Dubai is circulating with a misleading claim that the footballer said he loves Islam.
BOOM found that Ronaldo's image is from Dubai Expo 2022 where he expressed his love for Dubai; the viral quote on Islam has been falsely attributed to him.
Ronaldo, the Portugal football team captain joined Saudi Arabia club Al Nasr in December, 2022. He has joined the club on a contract for two and half years. Misinformation about Ronaldo and the Arab club have started doing the rounds thereafter.
The image has been shared with a caption in Hindi, "This Muslim woman from Saudi Arabia asked a question to Cristiano Ronaldo. What do you love the most, Ronaldo said I love Islam"
(Original text in Hindi: "सऊदी अरब की इस मुसलमान महिला ने क्रिस्टियानो रोनाल्डो से एक सवाल पूछा..#रोनाल्डो आप सबसे ज्यादा किससे प्यार करते हो, "क्रिस्टियानो रोनाल्डो ने कहा में #इस्लाम से प्यार करता हूं। #अलहमदुलिल्ला")
View the Facebook Post
BOOM first ran a reverse image search on the photograph and found that the image was tweeted by "@Cristianoxtra_", a fan account of the footballer on Twitter, on January 28, 2022. The tweet quotes Ronaldo as saying , "I thank all my fans, and I did not expect such a large number of attendees, and I love Dubai, its culture and its people, and I visit Dubai every year, and I am very happy to be here."
A similar image from a different angle was also published in a Gulf News
article on January 28, 2022.
The image is captioned as, "Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal International and Manchester United forward footballer and Marjan Faraidooni, Chief Experience Officer, Expo 2020 at Al Wasl, Expo 2020 Dubai."
We also found the same visuals of Ronaldo speaking in the event uploaded on YouTube by Emirates Live
Dubai based news outlet Khaleej Times
uploaded the video of the live Q&A session between Ronaldo and the anchor at Al Wasl Plaza. The extended version of the 18-minute long video of Q&A session is also available on the Expo 2020 website.
Starting from 3 minutes onwards Ronaldo starts speaking. He says, "I love Dubai. Because they treat me unbelievable. I love the people. I love the culture. And I come every year so its nice to be here." We also checked a
detailed report of Ronaldo's speech published by Khaleej Times
on January 28, 2022; however there is no mention of Ronaldo's remarks on Islam in the article.