Within seconds of Cuneyt Cakir flashing a red card at Luis Nani, there was a hashtag trending worldwide: #Nani.
Not long after, “De Jong” was trending on the social media of choice for many football fans, players and pundits as comparisons were made with the infamous challenge from the 2010 World Cup final.
The overriding opinion seemed to be that Cakir had made a mistake and the sending off of Nani was harsh – the best Tweets on the red card are below.
Ready for the game.
— Nani (@luisnani) March 5, 2013
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) March 5, 2013
Nani’s reaction to his red card twitter.com/101greatgoals/…
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) March 5, 2013
Somewhere Nigel de Jong is laughing about that.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) March 5, 2013
They’ll be dancing on the streets of Nigel de Jong tonight.
— Ali Maxwell (@TheMakeleleRole) March 5, 2013
Howard Webb was slated for not sending off Nigel De Jong in the WC final for a similar challenge. #MostDifficultJobInTheWorld
— FootballFacts101 (@FootballFact101) March 5, 2013
Was Nani ‘careless’?..yes. Was he ‘reckless’?..perhaps. Did he use ‘excessive force’..surely not. Only one of those is a straight red card.
— Arlo White (@arlowhite) March 5, 2013
Watching champions league.. Man Utd v Real Madrid… @mcilroyrory clearly not happy.. Red card for Nani was very questionable..
— Caroline Wozniacki (@CaroWozniacki) March 5, 2013
Nani could have pulled out of that challenge but he hung his foot in the air rather than using it as a weapon. Not a red card.
— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) March 5, 2013
Well done ref you ruined the game.
— Jozy Altidore (@JozyAltidore) March 5, 2013
to be fair, this is what the referee saw from his angle, can’t blame him for sending off Nani twitter.com/BeastModeSocce…
— Beast Mode Soccer™ (@BeastModeSoccer) March 5, 2013
I think it’s rather ironic that Cuneyt Cakir’s (referee) name contains the letters C.U.N.T
— RedDevilsDaily (@RedDevilsDaily) March 5, 2013
Tonight’s referee Cuneyt Cakir was the same ref who sent Chelsea’s John Terry off against Barcelona in the Champions League SF last season.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) March 5, 2013