When Cristiano Ronaldo visited Atletico Madrid last weekend for the Madrid Derby, one of their ball boys had the nerve to keep the ball and make the superstar come over to get it, then one he was near, threw it past him. The video went viral.
Ronaldo was truly shocked — as was apparent in the video, which became a hit — when he asked for the ball and the kid just gave him a sassy look and stood there not giving it back after it went off side during a play.
At that point in the game, “Los Blancos” were down 2-1 and the kid — who has been identified as “Ivan” — was maybe hoping to delay the match to help his team score a W.
Obviously the young man was not intimidated by one of the biggest superstars to play the game and didn’t care that thousands were watching in the stands and millions at home.
Many thought that Cristiano Ronaldo was humiliated, but the blatant challenge the youngster was issuing to the Portuguese star was clear and even though the incident made headlines around the world, it appears that the one having the last laugh is the Ballon d’Or winner.
— Index Football (@indexfootball) March 6, 2014
According to the Spanish publication Marca the self-confessed “Atleti fan and player since the age of nine” has been kicked out from first-team duty, meaning he will probably be spending the rest of his “career” with his beloved club’s minor leagues, never to see the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo again.
This was not the only incident aimed at Ronaldo at the Vicente Calderon. When the teams met during the Copa del Rey semifinal on February 14, while the player walked off the field at the break, he was hit with a cigarette lighter thrown from the stands. Nothing serious happened, but the Real Madrid star was examined by team physicians moments after and continued playing the second half.
Atletico was merely fined £490 (approximately $800) for the embarrassing incident and it is unclear who threw the object onto the field.
Obviously, Ivan’s action didn’t involve any danger towards Cristiano, however, that is not the behavior the team expects from the young kids that are supposed to be there to assist with the play and move it along quickly.
Following his rise to infamous fame, Ivan was reportedly egged by some who found out his identity and even bragged about it on Twitter — all of which has been deleted now. Recognizing that what he did was wrong — finally — he apologized for his actions in what appears to be too little, too late:
“I apologise for anything I said about the derby match, because that’s not the Atlético de Madrid ball boy way. Come on Atleti!”
Yet another Atletico “assistant” has been caught behaving badly after this photo surfaced on Twitter:
The ball boy who mugged off Cristiano Ronaldo last week also gave Marcelo the finger. pic.twitter.com/jS45vET0rg
— Not Match of the Day (@NOT_MOTD) March 8, 2014
Atletico thanked Cristiano Ronaldo for being a good sport and not making a big deal out of the slight, when he could have clearly given the youngster a piece of his mind. He took his revenge by scoring the equalizer in the last minutes of the game, assuring Real Madrid stays on top of La Liga and Atletico sinks to a close third place.