A lot of talk has going around about whether Ronaldo did a ‘disgraceful’ thing by supposedly taking a dive instead of just settling for the free kick and not rub his face with his palms as if his face had been attacked by a swarm of bees.
One thing. Did Chiellini foul Ronaldo? Yes. Thing two. Did Chiellini put his arm (I am describing it in the most lenient manner that I possibly can)on Ronaldo’s face after he had put his arm on Ronaldo’s chest? Damn Yeah.
Chiellini could have easily just shouldered Ronaldo to the ground and hence could have conceded the same free kick but without the red card. Was the red card deserved? Absolutely yes. You are not supposed to put your arm or hand or elbow to someone’s face. When you don’t get punished for something bad then in the next instance you would try something even more ambitious. In some countries hitting the face is considered as a crime and yes, may be, I am being too extreme here but that’s how referees should deal with players like Chiellini, Busquets, Metarazzi and Van Bommel.
But how come nobody is talking about whether it would have been better if Chiellini had just accepted the fact that Ronaldo beat him. He could not stay with Ronaldo’s pace. Sportsmanship would direct that Chiellini should have left Ronaldo alone when it was clear that there was no way he could stop him legally and allowed to to have a strike on goal in the subsequent events. Was it not equally wrong of Chiellini to commit such a cynical foul, if for a moment we assume that Ronaldo indeed did do play acting and also assume that diving in a situation like this is indeed bad?
Mind you, Chiellini should have been booked for the foul on Ramos for the penalty which Ronaldo did score. So it does not matter if he got a red or should have received two yellows. It is, the way it is.
And to be honest, no one should really be sympathizing with Chiellini anyway as he is reputed as a very dirty player, very dirty defender. He does those kind of fouls all day long in Serie A. But Champions League is not Serie A. It is much more important and has a grandiose appeal that Serie A will never have.
So to answer a recent poll on another football site:
Did Ronaldo’s alleged play-acting decide Madrid-Juve?
Answer: Hell no. But, Are you out of your mind?
It was not play acting. It was fair. If players with the flair of Ronaldo stopped going down and tried to, stubbornly, stay on their feet then defenders would hack them down even harder and they would get injured even more frequently. Yeah, that’s right, after all there is a reason why Messi, Ronaldo, Nani, Neymar, Robinho and players similar to their talent on the ball go down when they get tackled even if the tackle is in itself not strong enough to knock them off.
So the argument of taking a ‘dive’ when being tackled is quite frankly a dumb one. One should go down if he feels the defender was being unreasonably bad with his tackling technique. That, in no way, should be called as diving.
More importantly perhaps is the fact that Chiellini’s red card did nothing to the outcome of the match in terms of Juventus’s interests. In fact, playing with ten men made Juventus work harder and made Real Madrid players more complacent. Should have clubbed Juventus to the ground real good. Now they have the excuse of red card and the penalty and what not.