Football star Cristiano Ronaldo is known for his collections of luxury items and expensive purchases.
However, this time around, the Portuguese footballer, 38, made headlines after an outlet reported that he has been gifted a lavish gold-plated sports motorcycle by the Saudi Arabian government.
The news left Ronaldo’s fans in shock after a clip was shared multiple times on social media, claiming, "motorcycle made of 22-karat gold, gifted to CR7 (Cristiano Ronaldo) by the ruler of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.”
The post was shared on multiple social media platforms including Facebook and TikTok on May 10, 2023.
The viral TikTok clip also offered a glimpse of the golden motorcycle parked in a hall with a Saudi Arabian flag in the background.
The claim was later proven to be false, AFP confirmed. The luxury sports bike is originally owned by a Saudi motorcycle enthusiast Abu Sara.
AFP Fact Check - using the InVIDWeVerify tool - found pictures of the same bike on an Instagram account (archived here) called “Faisal Abu Sara”.
The Instagram account also had videos of golden motorcycles from various bike shows from 2018 and 2020 with posts credit Abu Sara as the owner.
The fact check report also found a video of the bike owner from 2018, introducing himself and detailing the process of building the bike.
Meanwhile, on May 22, 2023, the AFP digital verification team contacted Abu Sara for further details, to which he replied, saying he own the said bike for eight years. He also confirmed that the bike does not belong to Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Saudi-based football club Al Nassr in December 2022. He made his official debut for the club in January 2023.
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