Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers claims Cristiano Ronaldo is not the type of player to get in a match official’s face and has applauded the 31-year-old’s behaviour.
Kuipers has been in charge of several high-profile games throughout his career, including the 2013 Europa League final between Chelsea and Benfica and the Champions League decider between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid a year later.
The match in Lisbon, which saw Madrid equalise in injury time to make it 1-1, before running out 4-1 winners in extra-time, was arguably the most significant encounter between Kuipers and Ronaldo, who netted his team’s fourth from the penalty spot at Estadio da Luz.
“You know Ronaldo is a winner,” Kuipers told Pauw.
“And you know he always wants to score, you can expect an individual action whenever he gets the ball. He always goes towards the goal.
“But he does not try to intimidate a referee. I officiated him during the Champions League final in 2014, when Real Madrid met Atletico. And I have been in charge of a number of games with him.
“Ronaldo is just a fantastic player.”