Italian football champions Juventus breached an agreement when they benched superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in an exhibition match against South Korean league All-Stars, a local organizer of the match claimed Saturday.

A South Korean court ordered a local promoter Tuesday to compensate fans for Cristiano Ronaldo’s no-show at a friendly match in Seoul last year.

The Juventus star stayed on the bench throughout a 3-3 draw with a K-League all-stars team at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in July, despite rounds of appeals from a sell-out crowd of 65,000.

Match promoter The Festa had run adverts heavily featuring the Portuguese striker.

Tickets – priced from 30,000 won ($25) to 400,000 won – sold out in less than three minutes, with many eager to see the 34-year-old superstar in action.


Two fans sued The Festa, accusing it of false advertising, and the Incheon District Court ruled the promoter should pay them 371,000 won each, the South’s Yonhap news agency reported.

No order was made against Ronaldo or his club.

South Korean fans’ frustration has led to the coining of an online phrase, “acting like Ronaldo”, to criticise someone who only seeks benefits without fulfilling promised action.

“If he had played just for 10 minutes, everyone would have walked home happy,” one poster wrote on the country’s largest portal site Naver.


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