Football NewsFuming Ronaldo Demands Referee Swap In Saudi Clash
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Cristiano Ronaldo gestured for a referee to be substituted during Al-Nassr’s tempestuous 1-0 win over Al-Ettifaq in the King Cup of Champions quarter-finals

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner had been left seething by the performance of the official as the first-half drew to a close. Ronaldo’s team-mate Talisca had seemingly put Al-Nassr in front in first-half stoppage time, only to see the goal chalked off despite the fact that referee Piero Maza had initially given it.

Following a VAR review, Ronaldo was adjudged to have been in an offside position while interfering with play. It didn’t take long for the 38-year-old to react badly, with the former Real Madrid man signaling to the bench for a substitution before pointing to the referee.

The official wasn’t out of the spotlight for very long before having to make another call involving Al-Nassr star Talisca. This time, he cautioned the Brazilian for catching an opponent with his elbow. However, VAR intervened yet again and escalated the situation further.

Maza was recommended to change his yellow to a red and send the forward off. That is exactly what he did. The referee was of the belief Talisca had intentionally struck out with his left arm with the aim of hurting his opponent.

He wasn’t the only one that ended up in the book. Ronaldo also earned himself a yellow card for dissent in the 38th minute. He could have easily been shown another, but somehow managed to remain on the pitch after another outburst aimed at the man in the middle.

It was a game that saw tempers flare throughout, with Al-Ettifaq also having a man sent off when Ali Hazazi’s late tackle sparked a mass brawl. Sadio Mane went on to score the all-important goal, with the former Liverpool man bagging the winner in the second period of extra time.

Things even threatened to boil over after the full-time whistle, when old Manchester United vs Liverpool rivalries reared their head as Ronaldo squared up to Jordan Henderson. The two were spotted shouting and gesticulating furiously at one other, though the former Reds captain soon tried to calm things down.

Henderson, who is managed by fellow Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard at Al Ettifaq, actually made his way off the pitch and down the tunnel alongside Ronaldo. The former United forward was still quite agitated about something, but not heated enough to stay and confront the referee like a lot of his team-mates.