What was mean to be an auspicious occasion for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner quickly turned into a nightmare.
Instead, Ronaldo was sent off, rather contentiously, for an altercation off the ball with Jeison Murillo.
Alex Sandro bombed down the left flank but while his attempted cross was deflected out for a throw-in, the real action was happening inside the box.
In anticipation of the cross, Ronaldo made a dummy run towards the near post starting on the edge of the box but quickly changed direction and headed to the penalty spot instead.
The manoeuvre was intended to lose his marker and his hands do go up a bit as he attempts to go around Murillo on his way towards goal.
The defender hits the deck clutching his face, prompting Ronaldo’s gestures telling him to get up. Valencia players surrounded the referee who, on the advice of the official behind the goal, issued a straight red for the Portuguese.
WAS IT THE RIGHT CALL?
Murillo seemed to go down far too easily, and perhaps cynically. Ronaldo seems to make a genuine effort to get into the box for the cross.
Even if the forward’s hand brushed against the centre-back’s face, there was no malice in it. Television replays weren’t very clear, it must be said, but the decision did seem harsh on Ronaldo.
Ronaldo have plenty of fun poked at him following his emotional reaction to the sending off. Putting social media repercussions aside though, Juventus will certainly appeal the decision as their star man faces a three-match ban if upheld.
That would mean he misses a return to Old Trafford to face his form side Manchester United as well as the return fixture. UEFA rarely overturn decisions though so that would be a tough ask.
Of course, the silver lining is that Juventus managed to secure a win away to Valencia anyway, courtesy of two penalties from Miralem Pjanic.
Ronaldo may yet get his chance to make a telling impact later in the competition.
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