GRAPHIC BY: YING YANG
By SARAH CHUN
What will Club de Fútbol (C.F.) Real Madrid do now that they have lost their key player?
On Sunday, Aug. 13, C.F. Real Madrid emerged victorious against Futbol Club (FC) Barcelona in the season’s first El Clasico, or rival match between the two teams, with a final score of 3-1. Despite the fact that Real Madrid defeated their rival, at the same time, they suffered a loss: their most valuable player.
Cristiano Ronaldo, renowned soccer player and inspiration to many, received a series of punishments due to his inappropriate actions during the El Clasico. He was faced with a red card due to borderline aggressive celebration and poor sportsmanship, in addition to compensation fees adding to 5,355 euros ($6,296.30) and a ban from five games.
To begin, one must understand the reasoning behind Ronaldo’s series of consequences before jumping to the conclusion that they were too extreme. One yellow card is a warning to the player, and two yellow cards result in a red card, prompting a player to exit the game and be banned from the next match.
Ronaldo’s first yellow card was a result of improper celebratory behavior. Upon scoring a spectacular goal from beyond the 18-yard box in one shot, Ronaldo removed his jersey and flexed his muscles for the crowd.
Next, his second yellow card was due to “diving,” meaning he pretended to fall onto the ground in an attempt to earn a penalty in his favor.
Receiving a red card deeply angered Ronaldo. As a result, while he was exiting the field, he pushed the referee. According to article 96 of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, assaults- whether mild or aggressive, can be punished by a ban from 4 to 12 games. Thus, Ronaldo was banned for five games.
The fees he must pay are also understandable; 5,355 euros ($6,296.30) in total for diving, shoving the referee, and additional penalties to the club to account for Ronaldo’s actions. On the surface level, this seems to be a large amount of money, but this a low price to pay for continual poor behavior on the field.
Some argue that Ronaldo’s actions were not worthy of such consequences. However, since he is considered to be one of the best soccer players in the world, he should be setting a better example for those that look up to him. His punishments may be severe, but as an athlete with a history of poor sportsmanship, the repercussions are reasonable.
Ronaldo’s high status as a soccer player should not exempt him from the basic disciplinary rules of soccer. Instead, he should compensate for his continuous unrighteous behavior, justifying the large fees and game bans.
While some rebut that other athletes perform similar acts and go unpunished, this is not true. For instance, during last season’s El Clasico, Lionel Messi of C.F. Real Madrid also removed his shirt after scoring a goal and was prompted with a yellow card.
Given Ronaldo’s poor conduct, his punishments were appropriate. One may even say that the Federation gave him almost the bare minimum of game bans. Because he constantly violated the rules, he should have received a harsher punishment, such as a longer game ban to truly teach him a lesson. He must be punished severely, so he knows to think before he acts in the future.
Despite Ronaldo’s absence from C.F. Real Madrid, he will soon be back on the field and scoring goals for the team. His behavior and the results he received serve as an example for both athletes and soccer fans alike to be cautious of their actions, because one mistake may lead to major, long-lasting consequences.