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Cristiano Ronaldo Avoids Red Card on Record-Setting Night

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Group F - Portugal v France - Puskas Arena, Budapest, Hungary - June 23, 2021 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal
© REUTERS / LASZLO BALOGH

In Portugal’s 2-1 victory over Ireland, Cristiano Ronaldo made history. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner netted twice to break the tie and take sole ownership of the men’s record for the most international goals.

Ronaldo entered the game tied with Iran’s Ali Daei with 109 international goals. However, his historic night almost didn’t happen. 

As Ronaldo set up to take a penalty that would have given him the international goal-scoring record, cameras caught him slapping Dara O’Shea. 

According to FA rules, any player guilty of “violent conduct” warrants a sending off. While Ronaldo’s slap might not seem violent to the casual observer, it wouldn’t be the first time a player received a red card for a reactionary slap. 

Anthony Martial of Manchester United, after being elbowed in the face by Erik Lamela of Tottenham, retaliated with a light slap and was shown a red card for “violent conduct” after video review. Fortunately for Ronaldo, the referee was oblivious, unmoved, or knew that history was on the doorstep.

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