Cristiano Ronaldo’s first post-Real Madrid Champions League campaign got off to a pretty terrible start.
The Juventus superstar was sent off with a straight red card in the 29th minute in his side’s 2-0 win at Valencia for a foul against defender Jeison Murillo. The problem is, replay angles were inconclusive, with some suggesting Ronaldo pulled Murillo’s hair and sent him to the ground, while others speculated that Ronaldo’s raised arm at Murillo’s head — blood in the water for automatic red cards these days — was the reason.
See the whole sequence for yourself:
There’s no question Ronaldo felt the weight of the moment as he left the pitch, either:
Ronaldo is in his first season with Juventus after winning four of the past five Champions League titles, including the last three, with Real Madrid. The straight red means Ronaldo would miss Juventus’ trip to Manchester United, where he spent six seasons from 2003 to 2009 and blossomed into one of the world’s best players, on Matchday 3 on Oct. 23.
Despite being a man down, Juventus took a 1-0 lead late in the first half and then went up 2-0 early in the second, both thanks to Miralem Pjanic penalties … including one whistled against Murillo:
The scoreline would hold, with Wojciech Szczesny saving a penalty on the last play of the match and Juventus earning three points from its European opener.
How it will fare without Ronaldo the next two Champions League matches, however, remains to be seen.
Joey Gulino is the editor of FC Yahoo and moonlights as a writer. Follow him on Twitter at @JGulinoYahoo.
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