A fan-atical Irish girl created an international sensation when she jumped onto a stadium field, embraced bare-chested soccer God Cristiano Ronaldo, then walked away with the Portuguese superstar’s game jersey.
The proud papa of Addison Whelan, 11, nowThe Sun her stunning feat was plotted by the duo from the outset.
The girl in glasses and pigtails first smiled, then appeared to tremble tearfully when she approached Ronaldo, still in his grass-stained jersey, after a World Cup qualifier Thursday which ended in a 0-0 draw between Ireland and Portugal at Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
“We had a little plan in place. We had a poster done up with Ronaldo’s name on it, asking for his shirt but I don’t think he saw it,” father Peter, of Dublin, told The Sun.
“So her second part of the plan was to try and get onto the pitch. We had good seats, we were in the second row from the front, close to the corner flag … Addison had to take things into her own hands and go for the pitch. She is fast and pulled it off.”
Ronaldo handed the girl his shirt after encouraging security to let her approach him amid the postgame frenzy on the pitch. She embraced him again before being ushered away.
Addison celebrated by sleeping with her prize, taking the day off from school and shooting pictures of her and brother Greyson with the white jersey, complete with game-earned grass stains beside Ronaldo’s name and No. 7.
“Ronaldo turned around and saw me and told them (security) to leave me, he came over to me,” Addison told The Sun. “I was shaking and crying. I asked him, ‘Can I have your jersey please? I’m a huge huge fan.’ And he said ‘okay.’”
Authorities at Aviva Stadium in Dublin opted not to issue the approximately $4,300 fine she faced for running onto the field.