A video of Cristiano Ronaldo speaking in Portuguese at a press conference has been viewed more than 1.7 million times in posts that falsely claim it shows the football superstar warning reigning world champions Argentina not to underestimate minnows Indonesia ahead of their match in Jakarta in June 2023. The Indonesian subtitles added to the video are wholly inaccurate, and the clip in fact shows Ronaldo speaking to the press at the World Cup in Qatar in November 2022 — six months before the Indonesia-Argentina match was officially announced.
“RONALDO COMMENTS ON ARGENTINA NATIONAL TEAM FACING INDONESIA,” reads Indonesian-language text overlaid on a video shared on Facebook here on May 30, 2023.
The video, which has been viewed more than 948,000 times, shows Cristiano Ronaldo answering a question posed to him by a person off-screen. Indonesian-language subtitles, supposedly translating what the Portuguese football superstar is saying, appear throughout the clip.
According to the subtitles, Ronaldo is asked if he had heard that Indonesia are set to face Argentina in June 2023.
The sides were scheduled to face each other at Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on June 19, 2023 (archived link). The match is part of Argentina’s “Asia Tour”, which was announced on May 22, and will also see the reigning world champions play China and Australia.
In the video, Ronaldo supposedly responds to the question by saying Indonesia are Argentina’s equal, and despite being world champions, the South American side should not underestimate their opponents.
“History demonstrates that Argentina, Brazil and Italy have never beaten Indonesia. Therefore, it’s natural to question which country has the superior football team,” read the subtitles.
“It’s understandable that they’re keen to overcome Indonesia. But remember, Indonesia have formidable players at the moment. Like Marselino, some naturalised players, and that defender from the English league, what’s his name again?”
Ronaldo also supposedly adds that he would be nervous about facing Indonesia in Jakarta, calling it “intimidating” and “terrifying”.
But the video does not show Ronaldo discussing the upcoming match; it in fact shows Ronaldo speaking at a press conference during the World Cup in Qatar in November 2022.
Greatest player debate
The YouTube video is titled: “Cristiano Ronaldo FULL pre-match press conference | Portugal v Ghana | Qatar 2022 World Cup”.
The clip being falsely shared on social media corresponds to a section of the YouTube video that begins at the 5:08 mark.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the false post (left) and the genuine YouTube footage (right):
An analysis of Ronaldo’s comments show he was responding to a question about the debate over who the sport’s greatest ever player is — not about the Indonesian football team.
“Even if I win the World Cup, there will always be this debate,” he says in Portuguese. “Some like me more, some like me less. It’s like everything in life: some prefer blondes, some prefer brunettes.”
He goes on to say: “The World Cup will always be like that. Obviously, being an ambitious player, I would love to win this competition.
“But, also, if someone told me, ‘Look, Cristiano, you are not going to win any more titles in your career,’ I would also be happy because I think that everything I’ve done — everything I’ve been doing — I have to be proud of myself. Obviously, another World Cup wouldn’t be bad.”
AFP also reported on the press conference at the Portuguese team’s World Cup camp, which came after Ronaldo had lashed out at his club side at the time, Manchester United, in a TV interview and insisted the row would not impact his country’s World Cup chances.
The AFP reports make no mention of Ronaldo speaking about the Indonesian national team.
AFP previously debunked a false claim that another video of Ronaldo speaking in Portuguese shows him supporting Indonesia’s rejection of Israel’s participation in the U20 World Cup in 2023.