Real Madrid footballer and gay icon Cristiano Ronaldo has been spotted partying with gay former *NSYNC star Lance Bass.

The pair were photographed dining out together in Tribeca, New York’s gay district, last Friday night.

Ronaldo, 25, arrived in New York with his girlfriend Irinia Shayk, 24, but went out without her to enjoy the city with Bass, 31.

Bass came out in 2006 after years of gossip about his sexuality.

A source told the Daily Star: “They were having a ball. Cristiano seemed very happy.

“Lance looked like the cat with the cream to be up close and personal with a hunk lusted after by the gay community.”

The footballer recently became a father, although he raised eyebrows by opting to have the child, also named Cristiano, with a surrogate mother.

The child is said to be in Portugal being cared for by Ronaldo’s family.

Ronaldo’s love of fashion, accessories and grooming has made him the subject of gay rumours in the past and he has been voted a gay icon by several publications.

However, he has shrugged off the adulation, saying: “I’m at ease with my sexuality so it’s not a problem for me.”

He recently commended Portugal’s decision to allow gay marriage, saying: “As I am Portuguese, I try to keep myself informed about what is happening in my country.

“We must respect the choices of each other, because, after all, all citizens should have the same rights and responsibilities.”