MADRID (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo is looming even taller than usual in Madrid after a week that has been quite headline-grabbing even by his own standards.
After a spat with Sepp Blatter, Ronaldo mocked the FIFA president with one of his goal celebrations in a 7-3 victory against Sevilla on Wednesday. His hat trick in that game moved him past football great Ferenc Puskas into fifth place on Madrid's list of Spanish league goal scorers.
The Portugal forward followed that performance by launching a personal line of underwear on Thursday, with a 16-meter (52-foot) tall picture of the 28-year-old Ronaldo in his shorts adorning Madrid's city hall.
Madrid is one of the few Spanish cities where football fans would pick Ronaldo over Lionel Messi if asked which player they prefer. Blatter made it clear this week during a speech at Oxford University that he prefers Messi as well.
Ronaldo tried to brush off those comments on Thursday afer the image of him wearing his product was draped over one of the city's most iconic buildings, dwarfing his 1.84-meter self.
"I just try to my work the best I can, so I just try to do good things for my club, to play well," Ronaldo said. "I don't respond to anyone."
Blatter was forced to apologize to the player and Madrid after saying Ronaldo "is like a commander on the field of play" before strutting around the stage to laughs. He also pointed out Ronaldo's expensive hair styling habit.
"Sometimes it's better to think about it, count to 10, and then to speak," Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said of the matter on Friday. "I do that a lot."
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