An 11-year-old Dublin school girl has told of her delight at meeting soccer star Christiano Ronaldo last night and literally getting the shirt off his back.
Addison Whelan, herself a talented player with Shelbourne’s Under-13 team, evaded stewards when she ran onto the pitch after the Ireland-Portugal game on Thursday night.
“I jumped over the barrier, I had been in the second row, then I sprinted onto the pitch.”
Even though she was chased (and caught) by security and stewards Addison managed to get close to the Portuguese and Manchester United star and began shouting his name to catch his attention.
“He turned around and saw me and told them to leave me, he came over to me.
“I was shaking and crying,” she told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.
Addison told the star that she was a great fan and asked him for his jersey, which he gave her and asked her if she was ok.
“My Da’s face was in shock.”
When asked what she was thinking at the time, Addison replied: “oh my god, this is it, this is my chance, it’s come through.”
Addison said that the stewards “weren’t giving out. They were holding me by the arms asking me where I came from.”
The fifth class student at St Joseph’s NS admitted that she had been nervous, but she now has his shirt “it’s right beside me. I don’t want to try it on.”
Addison’s dream is to play for Arsenal and the Ireland women’s team, in the meantime she is gearing up for a game between Shelbourne and Bohemians. She expects to win.