Cristiano knew exactly what he was doing every step (and slip) of the way
“Boss, just put me on in the second half—I’ll score to give us the lead, take my shirt off, show everyone that I still have great abs, get booked for it, hold up my shirt to make make fun of the time Messi did that, then I’ll go down in the box, get booked again for diving and sent off before I break a sweat. I’ll also shove the ref a little to get banned for several matches so I can rest up a bit longer and be fresh for the end of the season.” —Cristiano Ronaldo to Zidane before the first leg of the Supercopa
So much of Cristiano Ronaldo’s existence seems to be perfectly scripted (tax matters aside), so the best explanation for his brief but eventful appearance in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup is that it was just another example of this.
With Real Madrid up 1-0 thanks to a timely Gerard Pique own goal, Cristiano came off the bench just before the hour mark. Leo Messi scored from the penalty spot in the 77th minute to equalize, but just three minutes later, Cristiano scored a cracking goal and celebrated by whipping off his shirt (as per usual). He then held it up to the Camp Nou crowd just as Messi did to the Bernabeu crowd last season.
Cristiano Ronaldo in the Camp Nou. Lionel Messi in the Bernabeu. pic.twitter.com/PrPSd1M7TF
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 13, 2017
With that done, Cristiano was then booked for going down in the box just two minutes later and reacted to the decision by shoving the ref. A move that he had to know would almost certainly earn him a ban. (UPDATE: Cristiano has been banned for five matches.)
Cristiano Ronaldo Pushes The Ref And He’s Probably Going To Get Suspended 🤦♂️
— Trending Sports Club (@TrendingSportsC) August 13, 2017
If Cristiano does get a ban, his summer break will be extended after initially being shortened by the Confederations Cup. In other words, this 24-minute appearance couldn’t have gone more perfectly for Cristiano Ronaldo. Real Madrid take a 3-1 lead into the second leg and their season gets off to a confident start.
It’s amazing how well a plan can come together like that.