WATCH: Referee Apologizes to Cristiano Ronaldo for Yellow Card After Shirtless Celebration

Published 09/02/2021, 6:30 PM EDT
Soccer Football – World Cup – UEFA Qualifiers – Group A – Portugal v Republic of Ireland – Estadio Algarve, Almancil, Portugal – September 1, 2021 Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo talks to referee Matej Jug REUTERS/Pedro Nunes


Cristiano Ronaldo entered last night’s World Cup qualifier against the Ireland, the Portuguese forward had the chance to become the most prolific international goalscorer over. Already matching Ali Daei’s incredible feat of 109 goals, the qualifier seemed like a perfect platform for Ronaldo to break the record.

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The game certainly got off to a decent start for the 36-year-old. With the 5-time Ballon D’or winner trying his best to get behind opportunities, the 2016 European champions’ offense looked passive because of lack of chance creation.

Soccer Football – World Cup – UEFA Qualifiers – Group A – Portugal v Republic of Ireland – Estadio Algarve, Almancil, Portugal – September 1, 2021 Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

But Portugal had the perfect opportunity to get a breakthrough. Winning a penalty in the 19th minute, Ronaldo stepped up to the spot. While a goal seemed inevitable, 19-year-old Irish goalie Bazunu saved the penalty. Since the save, Ronaldo and Co. looked quite as Ireland grew in confidence. With the hosts taking the lead and the dearth of chances, an upset looked inevitable.

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Referee apologizes Cristiano Ronaldo after yellow card

Portugal were outplayed by Ireland for the majority of the game. But Fernando Santos and Co. had a goal scoring phenom in Ronaldo, who was waiting for the right opportunity.

With some substitutions, Portuguese offense looked for dangerous with crosses flying in. One such cross by Goncalo Guedes found Ronaldo in the 89th minute as the Portuguese equalised the score.

Not only was this the equaliser, Ronaldo eclipsed Ali Daei’s incredible record as well. While it seemed like a fitting end to the game, Ronaldo had other plans. With yet another substitute Joao Mario delivered an incredible cross.

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One man was always going to find that, Cristiano Ronaldo. Scoring the winner in the 96th minute of the game, Ronaldo celebrated in some style as he took off his shirt. With the yellow card, the 5-time Ballon D’or winner guaranteed himself a yellow card.

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But the referee certainly realised how special of a moment it was. Not only did Ronaldo surpass Ali Daei’s incredible record of 109 goals, the Portuguese also ensured all three points for his country.

Realising the same, the referee had a word or two one of them probably being sorry for showing him a yellow card. This was certainly an unprecedented moment in football history. Given how Daei’s incredible record was, CR7 breaking the feat in such a fashion was absolutely monumental.

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Aditya Mohapatra

1186 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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