For a Manchester United fan, it’s a dream scenario. A selfie with Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch where he’s just scored the 800th (and 801st) goal of his legendary career to help the Red Devils to a 3-2 Premier League victory over Arsenal.
The 36-year-old’s brace ensured that interim United boss Michael Carrick’s time at Old Trafford ended on a high note. First, he finished smartly from a Marcus Rashford cross to give his side a 2-1 lead shortly after the interval, before converting a penalty to cancel out Martin Odegaard’s equaliser.
It was a fabulous performance from the five-time Ballon d’Or winner – and he deservedly received a standing ovation from around the Theatre of Dreams at the final whistle.
One fan, though, decided that he wanted a more personal memento of the occasion, opting to race on to the playing surface during the match in the hope of getting a selfie with his hero. He got heartbreakingly close to making it happen too.
Let’s be clear. It’s never advisable to invade the pitch in search of a fleeting interaction with your favourite player, but if one man is used to these sorts of efforts, then it’s Ronaldo.
Ronaldo is frequently a target for selfie-seeking fans
This season alone, a number of supporters have made daring efforts to grab an impromptu post-match photo with the Portuguese superstar.
Ronaldo did oblige an 11-year-old Irish fan who charged on to the pitch last month to ask for his match jersey, instructing security to stand down so he could accommodate her request. As classy as that was from the former Real Madrid star, the supporter was still fined £2,500 for encroaching on the playing area.
In most cases, fans are apprehended by stewards before they reach the United icon. Thursday’s match with Arsenal, though, perhaps marked the closest ‘near-miss’ of this kind that we’ve ever seen.
In footage that has emerged on YouTube, the supporter is seen sprinting across the Old Trafford turf towards the Arsenal penalty area where Ronaldo is waiting for a set piece to be taken.
The clip shows that the fan clearly has the beating of one member of security as he speeds towards United’s key man.
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This allows the pitch invader to get so close to Ronaldo that the pair appear to exchange words as the supporter gets his phone ready to take a selfie with the star.
Just when he’s on the verge of capturing his photo, however, the man is absolutely wiped out by two stewards coming from either side of the pitch, scuppering his plan seconds before completion.
You can check out the moment the fan’s selfie dreams were brutally ended below.
Watch: Fan wiped out by security as he tries to take selfie with Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo might be used to selfie requests, but that doesn’t mean he’s happy about being accosted by fans while he’s playing. Naturally, these incidents also attract charges from the authorities. meaning that they are never a wise idea.
In this particular instance, though, the fan involved has also got to deal with the embarrassment of having his failed attempt viewed by hundreds of thousands of people on social media.
Man Utd 3-2 Arsenal – Reaction (Football Terrace)