Cristiano Ronaldo, 33, employed the services of man-mountain Nuno Marecos after the Real Madrid and Portugal star featured in propaganda for terror group ISIS last month. In chilling mocked-up photos, the player was shown pinned to the ground along with Barcelona and Argentina player Lionel Messi, as Islamist fighters went to behead him.
The vile picture, released on the Telegram app, captioned: “Your blood will fill the ground,” showed extremists hacking at the footballers’ heads in a packed football stadium.
Former elite paratrooper Nuno will keep Ronaldo safe at the World Cup in Russia, alongside an MMA fighter called Goncalo Salgado.
The fighters, known as forcados, use muscle and intelligence to subdue the half-tonne bulls using their combined strength.
Nuno, as leader of the group, is the first to face the bull, egging on the creature before grabbing it around the neck while his team pile in.
A source said: “Ronaldo watches a lot of bullfighting and handpicked Nuno after thinking he was one of the toughest men he’d ever seen. “He knows that people won’t mess with him if he has someone as tough as him by his side. Nuno was with him almost every waking hour in Kiev and he will be there for him in the World Cup too.”
Nuno – a 6ft 2in man mountain – is best known for leading a group of men based in the town of Chamusca – a 70 mile drive from Lisbon – who entertain crowds in bullfights during their free time.
Ronaldo, currently holidaying with his son Cristiano Jr and girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez in Marbella before he joins up with the Portugal squad.
Nuno was pictured at Ronaldo’s side on the pitch after he celebrated winning his fifth European title.