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Erdogan: Cristiano Ronaldo was the victim of a political veto at the World Cup

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims that Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo was the victim of a political veto during the Qatar 2022 World Cup, which he indirectly linked to his alleged support for the Palestinian cause.

Speaking to a group of young people during a Turkish television program on Sunday, he said that "unfortunately Ronaldo was wasted" at the World Cup, in which Portugal lost in the quarter-finals to Morocco.

"Unfortunately, they imposed a political veto on him," said Erdogan, who added that the player "is someone who defends the Palestinian cause," Turkey's Anadolu news agency reported.

That said, Erdogan did not elaborate on what he based his claim about Cristiano Ronaldo's alleged political support for the Palestinians.

"Sending a footballer like Ronaldo onto the field with only 30 minutes left in the game ruined his psychology and sapped his energy," said Erdogan, who before becoming a politician was a professional soccer player.

"According to the information I have received, Ronaldo is now going to Saudi Arabia," added the president, who was in Qatar for the opening match and the final.

The Turkish president also said Argentina deserved to win the title and praised both Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi.

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