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Cristiano Ronaldo: a deliberate booking?

Oct 12, 2013, 12:58 PM EDT

Portugal's Ronaldo receives a yellow card from the referee during the soccer match against Israel for the 2014 World Cup qualifying at Alvalade stadium in Lisbon Reuters

For much of the match against Israel on Friday night, it seemed Portugal were still in the running to qualify directly for Brazil. Ricardo Costa scored in the 26th minute, and had Portugal managed to run out the clock and get all three points, they would have remained just one point behind Russia. With their final match against last-placed Luxembourg, and Russia facing fourth-place Azerbaijan, Portugal would have still had hope of avoiding the playoffs.

Instead, an error by goalkeeper Rui Patricio allowed Eden Ben Basat to slot in a goal in the 85th minute. At that point, A Selecção had a feeling a loss was out of reach. By injury time, Portugal knew wouldn’t be able to overcome Russia’s seven point advantage on goal difference. The playoffs were a certainty, thus rendering the final match against Luxembourg obsolete.

That makes Cristiano Ronaldo’s booking seem rather suspicious. Or perhaps fortuitous? The Real Madrid forward was shown a yellow card in injury time for protesting, meaning he’ll miss Tuesday’s match — and be available for next month’s playoffs. Pepe, too, picked up a card and will miss the Luxembourg game.

When questioned about whether the booking was deliberate, Ronaldo refused to confirm whether or not it was intentional. The forward said, “”I can’t talk about that [booking]. Fifa is always very attentive to those situations.”

  1. bizzmeister - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Lol, I mean @ Kirsten , who cares? Would you be surprised if he had admitted he did it on purpose? Im actually 100% sure they knew what they were doing. I probably would have done the same if the situation presented itself.

    Cracks me up how reporters expect the player to say ‘Ya guys, that was me! I did it on purpose!’

  2. footballer4ever - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Media expects to ask alm the “tough” questions and expects honest answers. What do they do, if they get honest answers, then they blow things out of proportions for profit purposes. If it was deliberate or not, we’ll never know and only a dumb footballer would ever answer that honestly to any reporter.

  3. danielguidice - Oct 13, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    http://danielguidice.wordpress.com/ Check out my blog on this particular incident and why I think it’s OK for players to deliberately get themselves booked.

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