Dave Kitson recalls the time he was ashamed to be on the same pitch as Cristiano Ronaldo

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The introduction of VAR in the Premier League from next season will help to reduce the number of diving cases.

England’s top flight still has an issue with simulation; Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah earned a penalty against Newcastle despite falling to ground very easily.

VAR was a huge success at the World Cup and its arrival in the Premier League can’t come quickly enough.

“We need VAR now,” Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez said after DeAndre Yedlin was sent off against Wolves earlier in December, per

“In this game it would have changed everything.”

The game is so fast nowadays that referees need help. That’s not a slight on officials; if the technology is available, then they should welcome it just as much as managers have.

And there are many former players who remember moments when they wish VAR was available.


Kitson: 'Aren't you embarrassed, Ronaldo?'

Indeed, former Reading striker Dave Kitson remembers an incident against Manchester United when Cristiano Ronaldo fell down too easily for his liking.

Kitson was furious, admitting in his latest column that he was ashamed to be on the same pitch as the Portuguese star.

“During a match for Reading against Manchester United I had tracked Cristiano Ronaldo back to our own corner flag and, with space running out for the cross, the great man inexplicably collapsed,” Kitson told The Sun.

“The referee was unmoved and Ronaldo threw his arms in the air at the sheer injustice that, for once, things hadn’t gone the way that the football gods had promised him.

“I could have stood over him swearing but at that moment I was actually ashamed to be on the same pitch - which is an awful thing to admit.

Reading v Manchester United

“Instead, as he lay there with his hands behind his head, I bent down and calmly asked, ‘aren’t you embarrassed of yourself?’

“In the second half Ronaldo scored. He celebrated by lying down with his hands behind his head.

“Turns out, he wasn’t embarrassed at all.”

Some players will do whatever it takes to win. Even if that means crossing the line.

Dave Kitson
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester United

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