Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo made an action-packed cameo against FC Barcelona on Sunday.
Ronaldo started the Spanish Super Cup first leg on the bench but replaced Karim Benzema, with Real 1-0 up, in the 58th minute.
With Ronaldo on the pitch, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi scored a 77th-minute equaliser from the penalty spot after Luis Suarez was fouled by goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
But then it was all Ronaldo. The 32-year-old scored a screamer, mocked Barça rival Messi, got sent off, and then shoved the referee. Here’s what happened:
Ronaldo: From hero…
In the 80th-minute, Isco released the ball to Ronaldo who buried the ball in the top corner.
Ronaldo then ripped his shirt off, flexed his muscles, and held his shirt up to the Barcelona crowd. It mocked the way Messi celebrated a last minute winner against Madrid in April, last season.
What A Goal By Cristiano Ronaldo! pic.twitter.com/usgZ63Xfyk
— . (@earthh_universe) August 13, 2017
But it earned Ronaldo a yellow card. Players are not allowed to take off their shirts during goal celebrations.
It came back to haunt him just two minutes after restoring Real’s lead. Ronaldo went over in the box under pressure from Barça defender Samuel Umtiti and appealed for a penalty. But referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea was not convinced and showed him a second yellow for diving.
After only 24 minutes on the pitch, he’d been sent off. But Ronaldo was not happy and expressed his frustration by appearing to shove the referee.
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane felt the sending off was unfair. The team could look to appeal the red card but it is the push on the referee that could land Ronaldo in serious trouble.
Bengoetxea, after all, confirmed the incident in his match report. According to MARCA, his report stated: “Once the red card was shown, the player pushed me slightly in a sign of disagreement.”
The rules on pushing a referee are clear — Ronaldo could receive a 12-match ban.
MARCA reports that “Article 96 of the Spanish FA’s rulebook notes how a push on an official can earn anything from a four game ban to twelve game ban.”
Madrid eventually won the match 3-1. The team hosts Barca in Wednesday’s second leg of the Spanish Super Cup at 10.00 p.m. (BST).
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