As provocation from opposition teams and fans mounted in recent weeks, keeping cool was Cristiano Ronaldoâ€™s challenge.
The Rocket struggled to deal with his nerves in Man Unitedâ€™s away game to Celtic, as well as against Brazil and Aston Villa.
Finally, the yellow card he picked up against Villareal in last weekâ€™s Champions League encounter was not only a warning against his behaviour, but also the prelude of a bitter event; an event which was just five days away from happening at that point in time, and two days behind the ceremony in Paris for the Golden Ball.
In seven good words, Ronaldo saw red in Sundayâ€™s Mancunian derby. The European footballer of the year was shown his first yellow card of the afternoon after being accused of fouling Sean Wright-Philips, though it appeared that Ronaldo clearly went for the ball in the challenge.
The so-called â€˜bigmouth bad boyâ€™ applauded the referee for such a questionable decision and he was just lucky enough to escape with no further action from Howard Webb.
But in reality, Ronaldoâ€™s pit started digging itself. Webbâ€™s eye was never off the Portuguese who was just starting to get into this game where his opposite duellist Robinho was a complete shadow; Ronaldo finally got trapped as if he were a hustler.
He handled the ball in the penalty box out of Rooneyâ€™s corner, Richards went down in the processâ€¦ and that was it.
Ferdinand anticipated Ronaldo and the squadâ€™s fate but his words could not calm down the referee.
A second yellow and hence a red card for Ronaldo â€“ which came much to the delight of Cityâ€™s supporters â€“ meant that the Champions had to be down to 10 men with the task of hanging on to their 1-0 lead, which they managed to do.
So there went Ronaldo, living the stressful atmosphere of the field at a slow walking pace, filled with a blue feeling of anguish inflicted on him by the red card he received to end his Sunday on a dark note.
Afterwards, Ronaldo explained the incident to The Sun:
“Rooney took the corner, I jumped and that was when I heard a shout from Richards and simultaneously the sound of a whistle,”
“I was convinced that the ref had blown for a foul. I stopped trying to head the ball and score a goal. I grabbed the ball so Richards could get help.
“It never entered my mind that the referee would show me another yellow card because, for me, I hadnâ€™t done anything wrong.
“To the contrary, after Richards yelled I thought he was hurt and needed assistance.”
So then, why punish a player for such a reasonable statement?
Written by: Angela Asante