Cristiano Ronaldo dives. We all know it. Last weekend we saw him booked for it. Cristiano Ronaldo gets kicked off the park every match. We all know it. Often, he’ll be rewarded freekicks for it, sometimes, penalties.
In the League Cup final yesterday, Ronaldo was fouled by Ledley King in the box. Chris Foy brandished a yellow card straight away. It was the wrong decision.
Had Ronaldo dived, it still would have been the wrong decision to stop play to hand out a yellow card, which was detrimental to United as we were in possession just outside the area. The fact Ronaldo hadn’t dived makes it even worse.
I’m not getting on my high horse, I just want this to be noted, for all the times the media and opposition fans criticise Ronaldo for cheating, and for all the times the media and opposition fans (and managers) claim United get all the decisions, that this was an occasion, a massive occasion, where the referee got it completely wrong on every level.
This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time when the referee has judged the decision on Ronaldo’s reputation, rather than reality, and he doesn’t have anyone but himself to blame. I’m also sure that the next time he wins a soft penalty, this incident will be well and truly forgotten about in the media. If only this country was obsessed with every player who dives as much as they are with Ronaldo…
The Times: Chris Foy, the referee, had been getting his wish to be an anonymous figure until midway through the second half when he was forced to rule on the one controversial moment of the match. Ronaldo tumbled over a lunge from King in the area and although his fall was somewhat theatrical contact was made. It could easily have been a penalty, instead the Portugal forward was shown the yellow card.
The Telegraph: Foy booked Ronaldo for diving when he had clearly been brought down by Ledley King inside the box. Reputation, not reality, was punished here.
Evening News: Ronaldo should have been celebrating a penalty when Ledley King stretched and stamped on his right foot as he raced along the edge of the box. Instead referee Chris Foy booked him for diving!
Sky Sports: Ronaldo breaks into the Tottenham box and falls under the challenge of King. The referee surprisingly halts play and books the Man United forward. That looks to be the wrong decision as the Spurs defender caught the Portugal international.
The Guardian: Ledley King brings down the marauding Ronaldo just inside the box – and Chris Foy books him for diving. Ronaldo doesn’t make it easy for himself with his antics, but that was a clear penalty. Ronaldo got there a fraction before King, who stood on his toe and sent him over. What has really narked me about that whole incident is not Chris Foy making a mistake – it happens – but Ledley King, who would have felt his boot going onto Ronaldo’s, applauding the referee for booking Ronaldo for diving. That’s a risible disgrace and he should be ashamed of himself.