FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Cristiano Ronaldo Declining To Shake Hands With Israel’s President?
A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo declining to shake hands with the president of Israel.
The footage actually shows Ronaldo passing by former Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) President Michel Platini in 2014.
In the video, a uniformed Ronaldo can be seen interacting with a line of people in what appears to be a stadium. He embraces one person before passing over a scarf-wearing man to shake hands with other people in the line.
“Cristiano Ronaldo does not gave his hand to the president of Israel…. Because he supports the Muslima,” the caption claims the video shows. “That’s why I love Cristiano Ronaldo #SavePalestinians #StandwithPalestinians.”
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs describes the role of president as being the head of state, with the president’s duties being “mostly ceremonial and formal.” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has held the position since 2014, according to the ministry’s website.
The scarf-wearing man that Ronaldo did not interact with in the video is not Rivlin, Netanyahu or any other Israeli government official, contrary to the posts’ claims. In December 2014, The Mirror published a clip depicting the same scene, identifying the man as Platini, who is French and was serving as the president of the UEFA then.
The scene depicted in the video occurred after the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup championship game in Morocco in 2014, according to The Mirror. Other outlets, such as NBC Sports and Metro.co.uk, also reported at the time that Ronaldo stepped past Platini during the awards ceremony after the soccer player’s then-team Real Madrid won the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup championship game.
Platini had previously said that because Germany won the 2014 FIFA World Cup, one of its players should be given the Ballon d’Or award, according to Bleacher Report. Real Madrid criticized his words, arguing that Ronaldo was deserving of the award, the outlet reported.
One article on NBC Sports questioned whether Ronaldo passed by Platini after the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup championship game because of his comments, adding, “It makes a little too much sense to be simply coincidental.” However, the article also noted that he shook Platini’s hand after being given the Club World Cup Silver Ball award at the ceremony’s end.
An internet search by Check Your Fact found no credible media report of Ronaldo meeting Netanyahu publicly. He has interacted with at least one Israeli government official.
In 2019, then-Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Israel Katz tweeted about meeting Ronaldo and other members of his current team Juventus F.C. in Italy. The tweet included a photo of Katz and Ronaldo smiling together while holding the soccer player’s jersey.