Cristiano Ronaldo could not believe that his last-minute goal against Serbia on Saturday night, March 27, 2021, was not allowed and he decided to protest against the outcome of the game.
The 36-year-old Portuguese football icon was almost the hero of the night when his country faced a determined Serbian team in a FIFA World Cup qualification match but the referee from the Netherlands, Danny Makkelie, didn’t allow him to shine.
Hence, the 5-time Ballon D’or winner decided to express his displeasure with the referee’s decision by ripping off his captain armband and furiously stormed off the pitch before the final whistle.
How Cristiano Ronaldo was pushed to walk away
Portugal faced Serbia in a Group A World Cup qualification match on Saturday and Portugal started the game in flying colors. Liverpool forward, Diogo Jota scored two first-half goals to give Portugal the lead.
In the second half, Serbia came out fighting hard to get back into the game. They finally succeeded in achieving their aim, thanks to goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic and Filip Kostic in the 46th and 60th minutes respectively.
Towards the end of injury time when Serbia were playing with a man down, Portugal staged their last attempt to win the game and the attack ended with Ronaldo in Serbia’s box-eighteen. The Portuguese star was able to fire the ball beyond the Serbian goalkeeper, Marko Dmitrovic.
Unfortunately for Ronaldo, the captain of the Serbian team, Stefan Mitrovic was able to get to the ball before it could touch the net. He however cleared the ball when it has already crossed the line. But the referee didn’t think so and there was no Video Assistant Referee to review the goal attempt.
Hence, Cristiano Ronaldo who was shown the yellow card for agitating against his disallowed goal got angrier, removed the captain armband from his arm, threw it on the pitch, and walked away before the final whistle.
After the game, the Portuguese football icon took to Instagram to explain the reason for his action, noting that his country was being harmed.
“Being captain of the Portugal team is one of the greatest pride and privileges of my life”, he wrote in Portuguese. “I always give and will give everything for my country, that will never change.
“But there are difficult times to deal with, especially when we feel that an entire nation is being harmed. Lift your head and face the next challenge now! Come on, Portugal!”
Nothing was wrong with Cristiano Ronaldo’s action and the referee had apologized
During the post-match press conference, the coach of the Portuguese team, Fernando Santos said the way Cristiano Ronaldo reacted against his disallowed goal was normal.
He also claimed that the match referee, Danny Makkelie went to him to apologize after the game and his team would have to move on.
He said: “I’ve been told he did not react well,” Santos said. “It is the normal frustration of those who score Portugal’s winning goal that did not count…
“The referee apologized to me straight after the game and we now have to move on.
“It was a clear goal but there is nothing we can do now. We controlled the first half but lost our focus in the second and failed to contain Serbia as they surged forward.”
The 2-2 draw between Portugal and Serbia means that Serbia are leading the Group A World Cup qualification table with 4 points in 2 games while Portugal are second with the same number of points but with lower goals difference.