Last updated : 06 December 2006 By Ed
Ferguson has stood by Ronaldo after tall the dive accusations since the Boro match.

"It is revenge for the English press," he said.

"They have been waiting months to do this since the World Cup. What is more serious in our game, preventing the best players playing or going on for three days about a dive that wasn't a dive?"

He continued: "No player is going to give up the opportunity to shoot into an empty goal,"

"I have looked at it a million times and Cristiano lost his balance completely.

"As I have said time and time again, we do not condone diving and Cristiano knows that.

''The first thing that happened to Cristiano Ronaldo on Saturday was that he got hacked from behind and that only encourages other players to keep on kicking him. He is the most fouled player in the country and instead of going on about that we spend three days discussing a dive that wasn't."

"But it is difficult for players who run as quickly as he does. For instance, if you were driving at 70mph in a car and another car comes out in front of you, do you brake or carry on?

"Don't forget, last year at Manchester City he got sent off for intent even though there had just been two disgraceful tackles on him, while Steven Gerrard got a penalty at Sheffield United at the start of the season, again for intent.

"The interpretation is down to the referee but, to me, it was a clear penalty."

While Ronaldo himself said:

"He (Southgate) stopped playing football last year. He needs to understand football much better," he said.

"I was trying to get past the goalkeeper. I lost my balance and the referee gave a penalty.

"I realise people criticise me for anything I do. They love to do that ever since the World Cup. But it doesn't bother me. When I go on the pitch I do what I love, which is play football and do my best for the team. That is my aim."