Martin Dubravka has revealed that he prayed that Cristiano Ronaldo wouldn’t catch him in the face during Portugal’s win over Slovakia.
Ronaldo caught the Slovakia goalkeeper with a late challenge during Friday’ Euro 2024 qualifier.
The pair were team-mates at Manchester United in the first half of last season.
Even after a VAR check, Ronaldo avoided being sent off for the incident as he only received a yellow card.
However, the Al-Nassr star is still suspended for Portugal’s game against Luxembourg after accumulating three yellow cards.
Martin Dubravka revealed that he prayed that Cristiano Ronaldo wouldn’t catch him in the face
Dubravka doesn’t blame Ronaldo for the late challenge that saw the Portugal star booked
When asked by reporters after the game where Ronaldo had caught him, Dubravka said: ‘In the shoulder, the neck and the chest.
‘I just closed my eyes and prayed that he [Ronaldo] wouldn’t hit me in the face as well. When I saw his studs coming at me, I didn’t even look.’
Dubravka stated that he doesn’t blame Ronaldo for the incident and added that such situations are part of the game.
He said: ‘These are situations when the goalkeeper closes his eyes and tries only to block the shot, and he, as a striker, has to go after such a ball. I don’t blame him. It’s sport, it’s football. Situations like this belong to it. Of course, he realised he hit me. He asked me if I was OK. I take it sportingly.’
‘I try to keep a clear head in these situations. It is a contact sport. Today, when we have VAR at our disposal. There is no point in getting into it.’
Dubravka was able to complete the game despite the incident and should also be ready to feature against Liechtenstein.
During his brief loan spell at Manchester United, Dubravka made just two appearances before returning to Newcastle.
Dubravka and Ronaldo were briefly club team-mates in the second half of last season