Full of big hopes, Addison Whelan ran onto the pitch after the world cup qualifier last night, but instead of being carried off by security, Cristiano Ronaldo intervened in the best way.
Eleven-year-old Addison Whelan has always dreamed of being a professional football player, so when she got to meet Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, she could not believe her luck.
The Shelbourne U13 star was attending the Ireland v Portugal match in the Aviva Stadium last night with her father when she hatched a plan to meet her biggest hero Ronaldo.
The game had just finished when the eleven-year-old jumped over the pitchside barrier and legged it across the pitch.
She made it all the way to the halfway line before security grabbed her, but, to her surprise, the Manchester United star stepped in and told them to leave her be.
Going for it
Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland, Addison said, “I jumped over the barrier because I was in the second row. Then I sprinted onto the pitch, but there were security guards running behind me and another two coming from the other corner, so I just kept sprinting.
“When I saw the other two coming from the other corner, I ran more towards the halfway line so then I could swerve around them, but then they caught me.
“Then I was just screaming Ronaldo’s name. He turned around and he saw me and he was telling them to leave me.
Addison was shocked when the footballer walked over, asked if she was okay and gave her a big hug.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 11, 2021
Dream come true
“He came over to me. I was just in shock and crying,” she said. “I was like ‘can I have your jersey? Please, please. I’m a big, huge fan’.
Addison’s dad, who was watching from the sidelines, could not believe it when he saw Ronaldo pull his jersey off and hand it to her.
“I was like ‘oh my God, this is it, this is my dream, it’s finally coming true’,” she gushed. “That was probably his last time playing in Ireland.”
And even though her parents will have to pay a hefty €3,000 fine for her invading the pitch, the Dublin girl says it was “definitely” worth every penny.
Feature image: Twitter/@jaydalyutd