Manchester United player Cristiano Ronaldo has been cleared of a rape charge.

The accusation was levelled at the Portugese international by a French woman, who claimed she had been sexually assaulted by the soccer star and his cousin Nuno Aveiro in a hotel suite in London.

Ronaldo maintained their relations had been consensual, and police dropped the case yesterday (24NOV05) citing lack of evidence.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said, "There was no realistic prospect of a successful prosecution.

"It came down to her word against theirs. Because she had gone to the suite willingly there was no way of backing up her claim."