Say what you want about him, but Ronaldo doesn’t do things by halves. The problem is when you care about the game as much as he does, you get upset a lot easier than most. And when you have such a high profile, the referee’s are quick to punish you for any perceived arrogance or unsporting behaviour. In light of this, when Ronaldo slips up, even for just a split second, he is harshly punished.
The incident occurred last night in the Juventus star’s first Champions League game of this season against Valencia. The Valencia defender, Jeison Murillo appears to dive (or at least go over easily) after a shoulder to shoulder with Ronaldo. Ronaldo, visibly agitated, reaches down to pick the other player up—a universal practice among pissed off players who think their opponents are trying to deceive the referee, this gesture is basically body language for, “C’mon mate, you’re an unsporting prick and you aren’t fooling anyone.” So far so normal.
However, at this point Ronaldo loses his cool for a split second and deviates from standard practice of grabbing your opponent by the hands and pulling him, albeit roughly, to his feet (or gesturing he get up). Instead, as his opponent starts to get up of his own accord before Ronaldo can pull him up, Ronaldo briefly rubs him on the head. Whether this was intentional is debatable. But it was hardly violent…
Whatever the case, the officials decided it was a red card worthy offence, and made an example of (arguably) the best player in the world, sending him off after just 29 minutes. Although Juventus went on to win the game 2-0, this means Ronaldo could miss the much anticipated clash with his former club, Manchester United. He is set to appeal the card however, making it a one match ban rather than a 3 match ban, in which case he would be able to play.