Forgetful Champions League opening night for Cristiano Ronaldo

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Despite providing a bigger boost on Juventus’ offence heading into the big day, Cristiano Ronaldo can put this opening night in the UEFA Champions League as one of the worst starts he had in his career having notched his first red card in 154 matches as he left the pitch not scoring his first goal with his new club in the competition. 

As word got out about Ronaldo’s move to Turin, players and coaches alike saw a much bigger potential to succeed in Europe’s top flight club competition due to his contributions with his old club Real Madrid. Lionel Messi once said “It makes Juventus clear favourites to win Champions League” after the news of Ronaldo’s move to Juve got out.

Ronaldo’s arch-nemesis seemed to be accurate in his statement as he proved to be instrumental for his new club since his arrival despite not scoring in his first three games in Serie A. With this, no doubt he was on the starting line-up in their Champions League opening match against Valencia. Having familiarity against the Spanish club, Ronaldo was expected to come up with another stellar performance following his brace in their last game against Sassuolo.

Everything started out well for the Portuguese on the 10th minute of the match when Federico Bernardeschi found him open inside the box. He went on for the volley which eventually seemed to be a pass to Mario Mandzukic who had acres of spaces but the Croatian striker’s shot went high and wide. The pride of Madeira was then involved in another run of play which almost led to a goal on the 17th minute where he sent an incisive cross towards Bernardeschi who then found Sami Khedira inside the box but the attempt was just inches over the bar.

All of the passes and great run of plays from Ronaldo came to an abrupt halt on the 30th minute when the Portuguese star got his marching orders from the referee. Ronaldo and Jeison Murillo got into a tussle which elevated to a heated confrontation between the two when the former seemed to tap the Valencia defender on the head. After the match, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri said that had there been a VAR system implemented in the champions league, the decision could’ve been different.

Ronaldo could’ve settled for a yellow card but when he saw the red card from Felix Brych, frustration was all over his face to the point that he was seen in tears before leaving the Mestalla. Due to the incident, CR7 got his first marching order in the competition after 154 Champions League matches.

He might still have a room to appeal for the call but as it currently stands, Ronaldo’s facing a three-game suspension that could halt his return to Old Trafford to meet with Manchester United. Not only will he be missing that mouthwatering game, but he’d also be suspended for the return leg in Turin against his former club.

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