Manchester United's Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo on Thursday accepted undisclosed damages from a British newspaper, after it claimed he was fined for using his mobile phone during training.
London's High Court was told that the action was prompted by an article in The Sun tabloid in February which implied “wholly unprofessional and arrogant behaviour” on the part of the player.
Ronaldo's lawyer, Simon Smith, said the article wrongly claimed his client had broken club rules by taking his mobile phone onto to the training pitch and sent four text message, incensing his manager, Alex Ferguson.
Ferguson was said to have then fined the footballer 8,000 pounds (10,000 euros, 15,700 dollars), Smith added.
“The allegation was widely republished throughout the world. Both the claimant (Ronaldo) and Sir Alex Ferguson have confirmed that the alleged incident never happened,” he told judge David Eady.
News Group Newspapers, the British arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. which publishes The Sun, had made an “offer of amends” and agreed a settlement by way of an apology, payment of costs and undisclosed damages, the lawyer said.
Ronaldo, currently on duty with Portugal in Euro 2008, said in a statement after the hearing that he has donated the sum to a charity in Madeira, Portugal, and that he brought the claim to protect his reputation.
“Contrary to the impression the article gave, I take training very seriously and do not want people to think I do not try my best in training,” he added.
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