Dec 17, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT
Remember the guy who ran onto the pitch and hugged Cristiano Ronaldo during the second half of the International Champions Cup match between Real Madrid and Chelsea?
Following that incident he was promptly arrested and looked to be in hot water after being charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing.
Until Ronaldo himself intervened.
Upon hearing of 20-year-old Ronald Gjoka’s legal predicament, the Portuguese star penned a letter to the Miami prosecutor asking that the charges be dropped.
Much to the delight of Gjoka, the assistant district attorney agreed.
“We are happy to announce the prosecutor today dropped the charges against our client in open court,” said Gjoka’s lawyer Richard Hujber. “In particular, we thank Cristiano Ronaldo for all his assistance and consideration in this important matter involving a young college student with an extremely bright future.”
The incident came about on August 7th when Gjoka, wearing a Ronaldo shirt, sprinted onto the field and dropped into the traditional knee slide of his hero. Gjoka then rose and embraced Ronaldo, who calmly hugged the student and even chatted with him briefly, much to the delight of the 70,000 fans in attendance. Gjoka was then escorted off the field by security and arrested.
Let off for his misdeeds, Gjoka now hopes to thank the star personally. “My dream now is just to see him again to say thanks,” he said.
No surprise there. But what is surprising is how Ronaldo handled the whole situation. Perhaps he took note of Gjoka’s jersey and respected the knee-slide imitation but in this world of violent pitch invaders, it’s still impressive how calm he remained, not to mention that he took the time to speak to the kid.
It was a small but nevertheless telling moment about Ronaldo, who so many discard as being pretentious and callous.
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