United’s Ronaldo Not To Blame For Rooney’s Dismissal

Manchester United and England fans must be wishing that when Cristiano Ronaldo picked up an injury against Holland his World Cup should really have ended in tears.

United Rant would have captured the feelings of most Manchester United fans with this image. But you have to ask, what did Ronaldo really do?

After a tussle for the ball with Wayne Rooney, Ricardo Carvalho had tumbled to the ground when Rooney apparenty trod on Carvalho’s privates. The ref immediately blew the whistle and as players from both teams gathered around the incident, the referee was seen pointing for a free kick in favor of Portugal. Fair enough.

Wayne Rooney steps on Carvalho's privates...
In a match full of crunching tackles, this misstep (or was it deliberate?) cost England the most…

And then the moment of contention. Manchester United’s winger Cristiano Ronaldo (who has been rumored to want to go to Real Madrid in recent days) ran up to the referee and starting asking him to show Rooney a card. Rooney got angry, shoved Ronaldo (who, to his credit, didnt fall – didnt even get thrown off-balance that much) and as Hargreaves separated Rooney from Ronaldo and other approaching Portugal players, the ref blews the whistle, stepped to the side and showed Rooney the red card.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney is shown the red card after pushing his United teammate Ronaldo

Who was at fault?

Ronaldo’s actions are not excusable – he has done this while playing for Manchester United as well and while we can’t say that he’s a saint, he’s not the devil United fans wil make him out to be in the coming days. Ronaldo’s actions themselves might have merited a yellow card if he had protested too long. As it was, Rooney lost his temper and pushed Ronaldo.

Should Ronaldo be blamed?

If you want to blame someone for Rooney’s loss, blame the ref. He gave an unbelievably harsh decision and showed a red when a yellow would have sufficed. Someone should tell those idiots sitting up in FIFA’s headquarters making all the rules that it is bloody important to let the game flow and to keep all 22 players on the pitch. If you want to promote fair-play, don’t do it at the cost of ruining the World Cup for half the teams.

Rooney's goes off, and so do England's chances.

And by the way, Ronaldo’s supposed ‘wink’ to the bench does not have much bearing to this incident. Was he trying to get Rooney sent off? Yes he was, but to be fair his teammates privates had almost been scrambled and Ronaldo had been in clear viewing range of the incident.

Claims that Ronaldo was disloyal to his club are as baseless as saying that . For most players, the World Cup is a prize the cannot afford to miss. You saw that with Wayne Rooney doing everything he could to get back into playing condition (despite the concerns of Manchester United), and Owen playing when he was clearly not in the best of shape.

Don’t blame Ronaldo for fighting hard for his country. You can blame him for asking for the card, but really, it was the ref’s call, and if it hadn’t been Ronaldo it could have been any other Portuguese player doing that.

Something must be done about the standard of refereeing in these games

The 2006 World Cup has lacked consistency in officiating, and like in other sports when the faults of the officials start impacting the results of matches you absolutely must look at solutions that allow you to minimize and then remove these inconsistencies. Dives should be punished, and referees should be told to ‘let the game flow’.

Otherwise, there’s little point of playing / watching – we might as well pray to the gods…

Or bribe the bloody referees as Juve did.

Update: See the end of this video for the little pre-match incident between Rooney and Ronaldo. Looks harmless, don’t know why the media is making a big deal out of it…oh right, the media…

[tags]Manchester United, World Cup 2006, England, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney[/tags]

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