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Former Benfica star Fabio Coentrao apologises for holding up "Benfica is s***" scarf

Coentrao endured a frustrating end to his time with La Liga champions Real Madrid, and was limited to just six appearances last season.

So in order to restart a stalling career, the Portugal international sealed a switch to Sporting on a season-long loan deal.

Coentrao used to play for the other major team in Lisbon, Benfica, where he made 52 appearances in a four-year stint between 2007 and 2011.

So unsurprisingly, it didn't go down too well with his former club's fans when he posed for a photo with two Sporting fans at the weekend holding up a scarf which read "Benfica e merda" – which translates to "Benfica is s***".

Such was the backlash from Benfica fans that the 29-year-old issued an apology on Instagram on Monday.

He wrote, apparently as a robot: "I was unpleasantly surprised by an inscription on a scarf that does not reflect the respect I cherish for all my former clubs, and in this particular case, for one I dedicated a good part of my career.

"To offend anyone is not part of my character, neither as a man nor as a professional. Today I represent Sporting Clube de Portugal and, as always, with the commitment to leave the soul in the field for the fans and the club, but respecting, always with elevation, all my opponents."

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