Manchester United hero Cristiano Ronaldo was booked for diving Sunday night… despite Portugal boasting two goals against tiny Luxembourg.
Ronaldo, 38, won his 198th official title, scoring twice in Portugal’s comfortable 6-0 victory at Stade Luxembourg. The result means that coach Roberto Martinez’s team will win the first two matches of the 2024 European Nations Cup qualifiers, which will be held in Germany next summer.
Ronaldo opened the scoring for Portugal in the eighth minute and launched his new celebration, which was a mixture of “Sio” and “Nab” celebrations. However, the presentation of the Al-Nasr striker was marred by his embarrassing stumbling in the 57th minute.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner tried to fool the referee by throwing himself to the ground after he ran into Maxime Chanute, the 33-year-old defender who plays for New York. The referee, Radu Petrescu, booked Ronaldo and asked him to continue the match.
Ronaldo was replaced by Martinez moments later. Despite Ronaldo’s theatrics, it was an interesting night for Portugal. Joao Felix, Bernardo Silva, Otavio and Rafael Leão all scored for the 2016 European Championship winners, who will be hoping to regain their title next year.
Ronaldo only needed eight minutes to find the net. The veteran calmly put the ball into the bottom corner before running away and setting up his new celebration. It is believed to be the first time he has combined “Siu” and “Nap” before.
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Ronaldo is best known by his nickname, “Sio”, which became a tribute to him during his time at Real Madrid. “Sio” shouted the famous Portuguese superstar into the microphone after winning the 2014 Ballon d’Or and holding one over long-time rival Lionel Messi.
He later explained, “The cry? The players know that I always do it when I score a goal or when we win. This is our cry from Real Madrid.”
As for Knapp’s celebration, it took place for the first time after Ronaldo scored for Manchester United against Everton in October. Although the celebration was never explained, it is believed to stem from a joke made by his Old Trafford teammates.
According to the Man United website, the celebration of “siesta” is a “self-deprecating joke” about how many naps Ronaldo takes in a day. The former Juventus star rests a lot to ensure his aging body is in the best possible condition for competitive matches.
Ronaldo has so far scored 122 goals at senior level for Portugal, making him the all-time leading goalscorer in men’s international football. He also became the most capped male soccer player of all time in Portugal’s 4-0 win over Liechtenstein on Thursday night.
Ronaldo now has 198 senior caps after Sunday night’s game. The seasoned star is on course to become the first player to win 200 caps in June when Portugal take on Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland in their next two Euro 2024 qualifiers.