Cristiano Ronaldo: Will he miss a Champions League return to Old Trafford?
Five-time Champions League winner Cristiano Ronaldo has received the first red card of his Champions League career against Valencia on Wednesday. The Portuguese forward was penalized for minor hair pulling and left the pitch in tears. Although, the action taken against him has been ridiculed by many as a poor decision, once the red card was brandished with a finger pointing at him, there was no going back.
Now, Juventus, as well as his fans world over, are worried for the possible number of games he may miss, and whether he will be available for his return to Old Trafford in the Champions League.
A one match ban is inevitable, meaning he will surely miss the tie against Young Boys. But, could he also miss a return to Old Trafford?
As per the recent updates, Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Cristiano Ronaldo and European football's governing body will deal with the case on 27 September. Unlike the Premier League's automatic three-game ban for violent conduct on the pitch, UEFA's punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis.
As said, the one-game ban against Swiss club Young Boys is automatic - with Juve having no right of appeal - but UEFA's regulation 50.1 of the competition says that "in case of serious offenses, the Uefa control, ethics, and disciplinary body is entitled to regulate this punishment".
In case UEFA decides to increase the penalty, Ronaldo will definitely miss his next Champions League game against Young Boys on 2 October, and it will rule out the trip to his former side Manchester United on 23 October. And if he were to be handed a three-match suspension, he would also miss Juve's home game against United on 7 November. Juventus have the right to challenge UEFA’s decision against any rise in the number of matches their new star signing would miss.
It is believed that the European governing body could possibly decide to increase the ban because of the time it took Ronaldo, who was in tears, to leave the pitch against Valencia. The organization said it was waiting to receive the referee's report before deciding whether or not to extend the suspension.
But former Red Devils midfielder Darren Fletcher expects the Champions League's all-time top scorer to play both games against his old side.
"He will feel like he was letting his team-mates down in that moment, but I expect him to play in both games against Manchester United."
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand tweeted that Juventus have "surely got to appeal this", but former Celtic forward Chris Sutton said Ronaldo had "only himself to blame... definite red".
Ronaldo left the pitch crying, and the Spanish fans, who saw his magic for 9 wonderful years, booed and abused him. He has had a bad start at his new club, as it takes time to gel with the new surroundings and players around you. Ronaldo took four games to open his account in Italy after he scored a brace at the Allianz Arena in a Serie A match last weekend. But he will hope to improve that form in the coming weeks, and he will hope that continues in matches against Manchester United.