Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is renowned for his flashy footwork and three-time Ballon d’Or winning skills, but those complimentary associations also come with a sometimes jarring competitive edge — one that may have earned the player a fine from the Spanish league during this Sunday’s El Clasico.
Cristiano’s reputation has long been intertwined with an arrogant, bad boy image, despite the player himself saying that he’s outgrown any perceived ego problem. Despite that assurance, Ronaldo does often seem put himself into controversial situations on the field due to a certain confrontational nature.
Because of that attitude, Cristiano may actually be facing a fine for some recent behavior at the El Clasico match held on Sunday. El Clasico matches are already tense for the Real Madrid C. F. and FC Barcelona teams due to their long-standing rivalry. When the two compete, the game transcends sports — becoming an illustration of the contrasts in national identity and politics between Spain’s two largest cities.
That’s part of the reason why a questionably inflammatory action by Ronaldo during a match on Sunday is being threatened with a fine. Riots have been known to occur around the world because the sometimes feverish devotion of sports fans — add patriotism to the equation, and you’re looking at the possibility of a volatile post-game reaction. That’s why the Spanish league is looking to censure Ronaldo for a “calm down” gesture that he made during Sunday’s El Clasico. You can watch the Cristiano incident in question below.
Ronaldo’s possible fine is part of a larger focus to limit the post-match violence that sometimes turns fatal. In November last year, a fan was killed during a clash between Atlético Madrid and Deportivo La Coruña fans before a match in Madrid. Since then, players like Cristiano are under more pressure to avoid stirring up this kind of violence with their actions on the field, Spanish league (LFP) president Javier Tebas told BBC Sports.
“We have to be careful with provocative gestures by a player or conduct that could incite violence among spectators. It must be sanctioned, from a fine up to a suspension. We will look into it.”
Aside from Cristiano’s danger of being fined, he also caught attention for making a second questionable sign toward one of the referees during the same. While speaking to ref Mateu Lahoz, Ronaldo grabbed on to his crotch and said, “Hey, Mateu, you like this?”
Fines and on-field drama aside, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid team lost the El Clasico match 2-1.
[Image by Getty Images]