Cristiano Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes has leapt to the defence of his client, claiming it was unacceptable for FIFA president Sepp Blatter to "publicly humiliate" him.
On Tuesday,both Ronaldo and his club Real Madrid reacted angrily to a video that emerged showing Blatter impersonating the Portuguese attacker strutting around the pitch and suggesting he spent a lot of money on hair products.
Blatter soon issued an apology but the genie was already out of the bottle -- and supporters and friends of Ronaldo and his club remain outraged, with the fallout showing no signs of abating.
Dear @Cristiano. I apologise if you were upset by my light-hearted answer at private event on Friday. I never meant to offend you. (1/2)— Joseph S Blatter (@SeppBlatter) October 29, 2013
Amid multi-page coverage of what they said was a 'world scandal' Marca spoke with Ronaldo's agent Mendes, who said Blatter's behaviour had been both "sad" and "unacceptable", and that "millions" of his client's fans had been insulted by Blatter's comments.
"This sad episode involving Mr Blatter shows an unacceptable lack of respect for the exemplary professionalism and dedication that Cristiano Ronaldo has demonstrated throughout his career," Mendes said. "As well as an unprecedented disregard for the millions of Ronaldo and Spanish football fans around the world."
'Super-agent' Mendes, whose list of clients also includes Jose Mourinho and Radamel Falcao, suggested FIFA should be supporting football's best players rather than embarrassing them.
"This incident is unworthy of the highest representative of an institution such as FIFA," he said. "They should value the stars that bring so much passion to this sport, instead of trying to publicly humiliate them."
Meanwhile, former Portugal and Atletico Madrid winger Paulo Futre claimed that Blatter's display of apparent favouritism towards Lionel Messi showed why the Argentinean has won the Ballon d'Or for the past four years while Ronaldo has won just one -- despite the fact the results of the voting for the award are made always made public.
"These comments explain the reasons why Cristiano does not have more Ballons d'Or," he said in Marca. "This trophy is a farce. If I had doubts, they have been cleared up completely."
Futre, who won 41 caps for Portugal, took the conspiracy theory a step further by stating he was worried Blatter's "hate" for Ronaldo could have an impact on his country's upcoming World Cup 2014 playoff with Sweden.
"I am concerned -- Portugal's place at the World Cup is on the line," Futre said. "I am afraid this could leave us out -- considering the hate which Blatter has for Cristiano. Blatter has shown he has hate, but Cristiano will speak on the pitch. There has been a lack of respect for the best player in the world."
Futre suggested that it might be better for the FIFA chief not to visit Portugal for the foreseeable future, adding: "From now on, Blatter will be persona non grata in Portugal. Better that he does not go there, we do not want him, as he has attacked one of the symbols of the country.
"He should resign for once and for all. He cannot act like that, with those gestures, ridiculing Cristiano."