Editorial: People just love to hate Ronaldo!

In Sunday’s local derby at the blue side of Manchester, if someone was worth a red card, it should have either been Fletcher (for his numerous tackles on Robinho and Wright-Philips) or Michael Richards (especially for his reckless challenge on Evra in the second half), but not Ronaldo!

The Portuguese received two yellow cards in the second period that saw him off for the remaining 25 minutes of the match.

In a hot game as it was, where “playing the advantage” replaced “taking quick free-kicks”, one tackle could not have meant one straight yellow card… almost everyone would have been sent off should it have been the case.

Fletcher, Evra, Vidic, Richards amongst a host of other names all escaped from the bitter punishment of a red card. They rather had the chance to be advised on several occasions by the referee.

But as soon as Ronaldo – who was effective in attack for the Reds – involved himself for the first time in the game in a challenge for the ball against Shaun Wright-Philips, the yellow card was quickly flashed out.
Replays though clearly proved that Ronaldo’s intention was to go in for the ball only, and not for the legs of his adversary like some players unprofessionally do when they challenge Ronaldo.

However, Howard Webb had other ideas, which Ronaldo did not even think of. Speaking to The Sun, Ronaldo gave explanations exactly as I anticipated the cause of the issue:

“Rooney took the corner, I jumped and that was when I heard a shout from Richards and simultaneously the sound of a whistle,” Ronaldo said.

“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 hadn’t done anything wrong.

“To the contrary, after Richards yelled I thought he was hurt and needed assistance.”

Here, it rather seems like the guilty one – Ronaldo – is the victim, for trying to obey the referee’s whistle.

Did it look as if Ronaldo wanted to score with the hand? Is he so unintelligent that he will want to handle the ball inside the box whereas he was so close to score with his head?

Richards went down during Rooney’s corner and everyone thought, including me and some sensible people that the whistle had gone up so as to come to Richards’ aid.
What a shock when Howard singled out Ronnie for handling the ball!

Much noise – jeers and mockeries – have been made against Ronaldo following this incident, but you need not to watch the replay twice to think exactly like Fergie who defended his Star winger:

“I’ve watched it again and he’s trying to protect the ball hitting his face,” Ferguson told MUTV.

“He also thought he heard the whistle,”

“The crowd played their part of course and he got sent off,” the manager added.

Obviously, there is a difference between avoiding the act of scoring with a header because someone has gone down, and wanting to score with the hand like Maradona or even Messi – who was proud to have used his hand to score against Espanyol two years ago.

And if the referee and City fans could not make the difference between these two facts, I therefore permit myself to think that Ronaldo’s sending off was an unacceptable mistake, or an act of hatred or of conspiracy.

Did people intend to spoil Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or party? Either way, he claimed the trophy with a landslide victory 48 hours later.

People just love to hate Ronaldo, and that’s a fact! But their perfidy will not bring him down.
If ever the newly crowned Golden Ball Player’s successful career collapses, the cause of his downfall will be something else coming from himself, and not from these mockers who rather make him stronger.

Happy are those who truly think that Ronaldo deserved to be red-carded in the Mancunian derby. Sincerity in opinions makes a man great and respectable.

Written by: Angela Asante

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