UEFA Champions League

Ronaldo red card relief: Cristiano ‘set to be handed 1-game ban,’ freeing him up for Man Utd return

Published On: September 21, 2018 11:30 AM NPT By: Agencies

LONDON, Sept 21: Cristiano Ronaldo will likely escape with a one-game ban for the red card he received in Juventus’ Champions League win against Valencia on Wednesday, clearing him to face former club Manchester United, according to reports.

Ronaldo saw red in the first half in Spain when he clashed with Valencia’s Jeison Murillo, appearing to tug at the defender’s hair as he sat on the pitch.

Referee Felix Brych brandished a straight red at Ronaldo for the incident, and the distraught forward left the pitch in tears.

The decision was seen as harsh by many as contact from the Portugal star was minimal.

Under UEFA rules, players handed a straight red are given an automatic one-game ban unless it is determined to be a case of mistaken identity, although stricter sanctions can be applied for more serious cases.

However, Ronaldo is likely to avoid that fate, according to the Guardian, and he is set to miss just one Champions League game, at home to Young Boys on October 2.    

That means he should be eligible to return for Juve’s matches against former club Manchester United, which are at Old Trafford on October 23 and in Turin on November 11.

Ronaldo, 33, spent six years at United, making almost 300 appearances for the club and netting 118 times. He also helped the team to the Champions League title in Moscow in 2008, before leaving to join Spanish giants Real Madrid the following year.

Ronaldo went on to claim a further four Champions League titles during his nine years in the Spanish capital, before making a €100 million switch to Juve in the summer.

The red card on Wednesday was Ronaldo’s first in 154 Champions League games but came on his debut for Juventus in the competition.   

UEFA has formally opened proceedings into the incident, although a final decision on the ban is not expected until next week.

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