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Fact Check: Old Video Of Ronaldo Addressing Syrian Children Falsely Shared As His Support To Palestine

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Claim
Cristiano Ronaldo says he stands with Palestine.
Fact
Old video shows Ronaldo expressing his support to the children of Syria.

As tens of thousands of people rally around the world in support of Palestinians amid Israeli air strikes on Gaza in retaliation against a surprise Hamas attack, a video allegedly showing renowned Portuguese footballer expressing his support to Palestine is going viral on TikTok.

TikTok user @charliechaplins_official posted a video showing footballer Cristiano Ronaldo speaking in a video. Text superimposed on the video along with a Palestinian flag reads, “Ronaldo stands with Palestine.” The video caption reads ‘Free Palestine’ while various hashtags such as #RonaldoStandWithPalestine #PalestineNews #PalestineViralVideo are also placed in the video. In the first portion of the video, the audio of Ronaldo is unclear due to a background music in Arabic language. “The world is with you. We care about you and I am with you.”

The video posted on October 12 has garnered 607 likes, 36.2k users have shared it and 19k people have commented on it until the time of publishing this article.

The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the veracity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker took a key frame from the viral video and conducted a reverse search on it. The search threw up several results matching the viral video.

On checking a video, dated December 23, 2016, posted on the verified X (formerly Twitter) handle of Cristiano Ronaldo, we found that the video frames exactly matched the viral video. The video was posted by Ronaldo with the caption reading “A message of hope for the children affected by the conflict in Syria.”  

“Hello! This is for the children of Syria, we know that you have been suffering a lot. I am a very famous player but you are the true heroes. Don’t lose hope. The world is with you, we care about you. I am with you,” Ronaldo says in the video.

Further, we checked another video posted on the YouTube channel named ‘Arab News’. The video dated December 23, 2016 exactly matched the viral video.

We also found an article titled ‘Ronaldo makes donation, tells Syrian children: ‘Don’t lose your hope’ published in the Washington Post. The article dated December 23, 2016 read that the Portuguese soccer star is making a donation on behalf of the London-based Save the Children organisation.

Thus, our findings clearly show that the viral video shows Cristiano Ronaldo expressing his support to the children of war-ravaged Syria in December 2016.

Conclusion

The viral video claiming to show football star Cristiano Ronaldo saying he stands with Palestine is misleading, the 2016 video actually shows Ronaldo delivering a message of hope to the children of Syria affected by war.

Result: False  

Sources
Cristiano Ronaldo X (formerly Twitter), , December 23, 2016
Arab News, December 23, 2016
Washington Post, December 23, 2016


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

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