He had it coming on’ was the verdict on Cristiano Ronaldo’s red card in Valencia, at least from the Barcelona supporting media. And there wasn’t that much more sympathy from their Madrid leaning counterparts.
‘Red for Ronaldo and he goes off crying’ was Barcelona-based Mundo Deportivo’s headline and its editorial opened with the sentence: ‘After 20 identified aggressions wearing the Portugal and Real Madrid shirt Ronaldo was sent off on his Champions League debut.’
It continued: ‘It proved that away from Madrid refereeing protection does not exist.’
There was little room for debate about the justific ation for the red either. ‘After a skirmish with Murillo he saw red and cried like a youth team player.’ It wasn’t until the last paragraph that there was any room for a more balanced sentiment: ‘the punishment seemed excessive’.
As for the ’20 aggressions’ mentioned, there were certainly moments when Ronaldo petulantly kicked-out at opponents at Real Madrid but 20 seems excessive in the extreme. Perhaps the Madrid media would fight his corner?
Not really. Although Valencia-based match reporter Conrado Valle was fair in his match report: ‘the television images of the incident did not reflect the punishment,’ he wrote.
Marca, for so long, a champion of Ronaldo was perhaps the least favourable putting the words ‘he kicked Murillo off the ball’ in bold under the headline of the match report. It did, however elaborate that the incident was complicated [to analyze].
Cadena Ser’s resident retired referee Eduardo Iturralde said: ‘Ronaldo was sent off for aiming a kick at Murillo.’
Where there was a lot more sympathy for Ronaldo was on late night Spanish television.
In ‘El Chiringuito one pundit said a yellow card would have been sufficient and another called the decision ‘demented’.