Cristiano Ronaldo, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all times, paid a tribute to Queen Elizabeth after she breathed her last at the age of 96 on Thursday.

The Manchester United striker played hours after the Queen’s death was confirmed on a subdued evening at Old Trafford, reported GiveMeSport. While Man Utd faced a 1-0 defeat against Real Sociedad in the Europa League, Ronaldo played the full 90 minutes for the first time since the team’s defeat to Brentford. A minute of silence was observed for the UK’s longest-reigning monarch before the kick-off.

Later, Ronaldo paid a heartfelt tribute to her via Instagram.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano)

The Portuguese footballer wrote that seven years of his career were played in the Premier League, "making this my 8th season living in England." He shared that throughout these years, he felt the "everlasting love of the UK for it’s Queen, and how important Her Majesty was and will forever be to the British people." Through his post, he paid his respect to her memory and he said that he mourned this "irreplaceable (loss) with the country that I’ve learned to call home."

Ronaldo and his Man Utd teammates were scheduled to be in action again on Sunday at Crystal Palace, but the Football Association (FA) canceled all football in the UK following the Queen’s passing.

The FA said in a statement that the Queen was a "long-standing Patron of The Football Association and has left a lasting and indelible legacy on our national game." It further read that as a mark of respect following her death, English football had "united to postpone all football fixtures between Sept. 9 and 11." The FA also confirmed that all football fixtures across the Barclays Women’s Championship, Barclays Women’s Super League, the Isuzu FA Trophy and the Vitality Women’s FA Cup, will "be postponed this weekend."

According to Goal, when the monarch was alive, she was involved in a host of memorable sporting moments, including presenting the World Cup to England in 1966.

As for Ronaldo, he will next be in action against FC Sheriff on Thursday if the match goes ahead as planned.

Manchester United players observe a minutes silence following the death of Queen Elizabeth II Manchester United players Christian Eriksen, Harry Maguire, Anthony Elanga, Tyrell Malacia and Cristiano Ronaldo observe a minutes silence following the death of Queen Elizabeth II before the UEFA Europa League group E match between Manchester United and Real Sociedad at Old Trafford on September 8, 2022 in Manchester, United Kingdom. Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images