Ronaldo reacted angrily when Republic of Ireland’s Dara O’Shea kicked the ball away as he tried to place it for a penalty – which would have broke the international goals record had he scored
Cristiano Ronaldo was fortunate not to be sent off during Portugal’s World Cup qualifying clash against Republic of Ireland on Tuesday after completely losing his cool.
The Portugal captain was gifted an early chance to break the all-time goalscoring record at international level when the referee awarded the hosts a penalty.
Ireland’s Jeff Hendrick was penalised for an adjudged foul on Bruno Fernandes inside the box just 10 minutes in.
However, Ronaldo did not step up to take the spot kick for another five minutes due to a lengthy VAR review.
Eventually, the match official determined his original decision should stand, leaving Ronaldo on the brink of making history.
However, Ireland stopper Gavin Bazunu clearly didn’t get the memo, as he leapt full legnth to his right to keep out the striker’s penalty.
It was a rare miss from Ronaldo – who failed to cap a special week which saw him complete a return to Manchester United.
But he may not have even been given the chance had the officials taken a harsher view of a flashpoint in the lead up to his saved effort.
Ireland’s Dara O’Shea did his best to put the five-time Ballon d’Or winner off, kicking the ball away when Ronaldo was just placing it on the penalty spot.
Reacting angrily, Ronaldo then wildly swung for his opponent’s face in a petulant retaliation.
Fortunately for him he didn’t make too much contact, merely skimming O’Shea’s face with his hand, though the Ireland defender still tried to make the officials aware as he dropped to his knees holding his head.
It’s not clear whether the officials got a good view of the incident, as referee Matej Jug was deep in discussion with Ireland players protesting the penalty.
Either way, the incident clearly had an effect on Ronaldo’s composure as he failed to convert the spot kick, though he may feel relieved he was able to stay on the field.
Ireland then took a shock lead later in the first half when John Egan headed them in front from a corner.
Ronaldo’s miss comes amid a busy week for the 36-year-old as he waved goodbye to Juventus to complete his return to Old Trafford.
His transfer was finally confirmed early on deadline day but he has been made to wait for his debut due to this international break.
Portugal face Qatar in a friendly on Saturday before travelling to Azerbaijan on Tuesday for another World Cup qualifier.
It looks likely Ronaldo will be involved in United’s next fixture against Newcastle on September 11 – and he faces a favourable run of games to kick-start his second spell for the Red Devils.
Whether he will start the fixture is another matter.
Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood have both stayed at Carrington during the international break and played in a behind-closed-doors friendly for United on Tuesday.
Greenwood continued his scoring form by netting again in the 4-3 defeat to Stoke, while Cavani hit the crossbar from a free-kick.