“If you see the replay on TV you can see he kicked me in the foot and that is why I am limping. But it is the ref’s decision and we have to respect it. It was not the right decision but with the pressures of the game, it is so quick. He gave me a yellow card and I don’t know why.” – Cristiano Ronaldo.
It is much easier to gain a reputation than to shake it off.
On several occasions in the past few months we have flagged up various pieces of video evidence highlighting unceremonious tumbles from Cristiano Ronaldo. This has often sparked polarised discussion of whether or not the Portuguese forward is actually a cheat or not, with battle-lines usually predetermined by underlying allegiances to one side or another.
For poor Ronaldo, however, yesterday’s Carling Cup final proved that mud sticks as the number seven was denied a stonewall penalty for a foul by Ledley King in the Tottenham box. But not only did Ronaldo not win the spot-kick, but referee Chris Foy made his opinion of CR7 publicly clear by brandished his yellow card and thereby holding Ronaldo in contempt of an alleged simulation.
The incident arose in the 66th minute when, having picked up the ball wide on the right, Ronaldo drifted in from the touchline across the top of the box, only to be hacked down by Ledley King who never came close to winning the ball.
Amazingly, the commentators on the video immediately reacted by calling the decision “a close call.” Even when the replay was shown, the talking-heads said “it looks like Ledley King, possibly, catches him there.”
There was no possible about it. Ronaldo was hacked down. But as the voices summed up at the end, Ronaldo’s reputation had gone before him.
The Ronaldo penalty incident can be seen here.