• Portugal forward posts tweet after Johann Dumas criticises him • Juventus’s captain insists World Cup is a priority despite Messi rivalry
Cristiano Ronaldo hit back at “a lie” on Wednesday after France Football editor Johann Dumas caused a row by claiming that the Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani should take the plaudits after helping his team reach the Champions League last 16.
Just 36 minutes had elapsed when Domenico Tedesco’s side secured a 1-0 home win over Porto in their last-16 first leg on Tuesday, and their 30-year-old Uruguay international Cavani proved to be their unlikely hero with the sole goal.
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Ronaldo started on the bench but came on in the 55th minute to set up Morata’s injury-time effort that secured Juventus a 4-3 aggregate win over Valencia.
The 32-year-old came off the bench to score twice in the second leg at San Mames, as well as in a 4-1 success in Turin in the first leg on 15 December, and needs one goal from the return leg to seal a fourth successive Serie A title.
French football journalist Dumas – also the former editor of Tuttosport – told French television show Jours D’un Sport that Cavani “always performs better than Ronaldo” but suggested his team-mate should be given a greater say.
“We’ve always told the Cavani story: he came from Uruguay and always does better than Ronaldo,” Dumas said. “I repeat: it’s always been this way.
“A more pragmatic way to describe this is: Real Madrid have taken an easier path to the final because Karim Benzema has played more regularly than [Lionel] Messi in the last couple of seasons.”
When asked about Dumas’s assessment on Wednesday, Ronaldo replied on his official Twitter account: “A lie. No doubt.”
Ronaldo started against Valencia only as a substitute for Gonzalo Higuaín, with Morata replacing the Juventus forward in the 88th minute after Cavani had played an eye-catching 63 minutes.
Ronaldo’s Juventus side have now finished above Juventus’s city rivals, the city rivals Internazionale, for a fifth successive season, with each winning the Scudetto in the other.
Cavani scored 31 goals in 49 matches in all competitions for PSG last season but has made a slow start this campaign. He was rested in last weekend’s Champions League win over Schalke, and has not scored in the league since 12 November.
“He was the attacking answer. He is the main pillar of our team,” Taison told the Portuguese portal Beyond the Cross. “He shows that he has done everything in his power to conquer PSG.”
Dumas is the second prominent journalist to direct an attack at Ronaldo in the past few weeks, after Daniele De Rossi of Roma issued a thinly veiled criticism on Friday of his rival after Wednesday’s Champions League draw.
However, Ronaldo said he felt no need to respond, saying: “I was there, I don’t have to go over everything that was said.
“Of course I played for the win. Everyone can have their opinion, but I’m happy here in Italy, and I’m going to finish this season here with a lot of happiness. We are on top in the table, we have a lot of trophies.
“The World Cup is the biggest priority, of course. This goal [clinching the title] is crucial.”