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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Cristiano Ronaldo escapes red card after studs catch Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka’s face in Portugal win

Cristiano Ronaldo might count himself lucky that he was not sent off for Portugal after his studs scraped Martin Dubravka’s face.

The Portugal captain started up front for his country against Slovakia in a Euro qualifier and was desperate for a goal.


Ronaldo left Dubravka clutching his face following a clash while on Portugal dutyCredit: Getty

And near the hour-mark, the Al Nassr star had the ideal chance to finally get on the scoresheet but he fluffed his line.

Chasing his touch and with the ball making its way into Newcastle star Dubravka’s arms, Ronaldo lunged at the ball with his studs showing.

But he completely missed the target, instead raking his boot down the Slovakia goalkeeper’s face.

The 38-year-old immediately looked sheepish while the fans inside the Tehelne Pole bayed for a red card.

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However, referee Glenn Nyberg failed to oblige and only brandished a yellow – leaving players and fans stunned alike.

Paris Saint-Germain star Milan Skrinier was incensed and straight away raced toward Ronaldo to stick up for his teammate, who was cradling his face.

The former Manchester United star looked apologetic and tried to insist he went for the ball.

But he might consider himself extremely fortunate to stay on the pitch, especially at a crucial time.

The Al Nassr star fluffed his lines as Dubravka rushed out


The Al Nassr star fluffed his lines as Dubravka rushed outCredit: Getty
Ronaldo was only booked for the incident as his studs caught the Newcastle stopper's face


Ronaldo was only booked for the incident as his studs caught the Newcastle stopper’s faceCredit: Getty

Bruno Fernandes had put Portugal a goal up earlier in the contest.

And that proved to be the winner, though with 10 men, the match might have turned out differently.

Portugal, however, went on to survive and maintain their perfect start to the qualifying phase with five wins out of five.

There is a strong chance that will be six, too, by Monday night when they face Luxembourg at home.

Ronaldo is already the Selecao’s highest-ever goalscorer but will miss the chance to play, having now been suspended via his yellow card on Friday night.

Otherwise, he would have been licking his lips ahead of the chance to add to his 123-goal tally against a country he has scored 11 times against.

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