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Cristiano Ronaldo..

Cristiano Ronaldo's first ever red card was pettier than Barcelona dismissal

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Cristiano Ronaldo had something of an eventful night during Sunday’s Spanish Super Cup clash with Barcelona.

With Real Madrid’s lead dependent on a Gerard Pique own goal, Zinedine Zidane introduced Ronaldo to go for the jugular. His impact was almost immediate with the Portuguese finding the net with a screaming top corner strike.

Nevertheless, his decision to imitate Lionel Messi’s celebration from the previous El Clasico – in removing his shirt – earned him a yellow card.

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It lived to be a regretful decision with the Ballon d’Or winner later receiving a second caution for diving in the Barcelona penalty area. Damningly too, by pushing the referee, Ronaldo was slapped with a whopping five game ban.

That’s not to mention the fact ex-Premier League referee Graham poll thought Ronaldo was more deserving of a 12 game absence.

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When you consider the whole fiasco was born from a celebration and simulation, it’s fair to say he’s dug quite the hole for himself. It’s rather petty as far as sending offs go.

That being said, Ronaldo has form for such antics. In fact, his very first dismissal back in 2004 was equally as avoidable as his latest.

With Manchester United’s title defence already downed by the Arsenal invincibles, the Red Devils travelled to Villa Park for their closing fixture of the 2003-04 campaign.

Aston Villa v Manchester United

Just two minutes into the game and Ronaldo found the net with a superb near post strike – the fifth goal of his debut campaign at Old Trafford. Ruud van Nistelrooy then doubled the away side’s lead just six minutes later.

United cruised to victory but not before a bizarre collapse in the closing minutes of the game with both Darren Fletcher and Ronaldo red carded.

Fast forward to 11:02 to see CR7’s embarrassing dismissal:

Having already picked up a yellow card for a clash with Ulises de la Cruz, Ronaldo was keen to ignore the referee’s whistle when being caught offside late on.

Despite the decision, and having fully three seconds to react, he decided to scoop lob Thomas Sorensen. Funnily enough, it was a brilliant finish but one so unnecessary that a second caution from Rob Styles was inevitable.

It would be a pretty safe bet that Sir Alex Ferguson gave him the hairdryer treatment afterwards.

Manchester United's manager Alex Ferguso

And 13 years on, it seems Ronaldo’s discipline is still at the mercy of his showmanship. Errant shirt removal, diving and scoop lobbing dismissals make for quite the CV.

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