CRISTIANO RONALDO protested his innocence to referee Felix Brych as he left the pitch after his Champions League red card.
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Ronaldo broke down in tears after the German ref decided to send him off when he put his hand on Valencia defender Jeison Murillo’s head.
Murillo fell to the ground before Ronaldo was given a straight red after discussing the incident with his assistant behind the goal.
Ronaldo looked baffled and kept protesting his innocence, briefly laying on the ground to express his disbelief. He was clearly distraught as he left the pitch, still shaking his head.
As he slouched off, the Portuguese superstar told Brych “I did not do anything” but it fell on deaf ears.
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It was his first red card in 154 Champions League games and means he may miss a return to Old Trafford when Juventus play his former club Manchester United next month.
He has received an automatic one-match ban which cannot be appealed. That means Ronaldo will definitely miss Juve’s home match against Young Boys on October 2.
But UEFA’s disciplinary panel could extend it depending on the contents of the report sent to them and they will now wait to receive the referee’s report.
Express Sport understands that if the ban was extended, any appeal from Juventus would have to be heard before match day three, when Ronaldo had hoped to face his old club Manchester United at Old Trafford.
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However, it would seem unlikely that his ban would be extended, with Article 15 of UEFA’s regulations stating that bans of more than one game are for offences such as abusive language towards a match official, serious assault or for receiving a caution or red card on purpose.
Two penalties from Miralem Pjanic gave Juventus a 2-0 victory in Valencia.
Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri led calls for the introduction of VAR in the Champions League after the game.
On Ronaldo’s dismissal, Allegri said: “I can only say that VAR would’ve helped the referee in this decision.
“Going down to 10 men in the Champions League for an incident like that is disappointing. We risked losing tonight with this and we’ll miss him for the next games too.”
While former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg claims the additional assistant may have thought Ronaldo used his elbow in the incident.
Clattenburg said in the Daily Mail: “Cristiano Ronaldo was very unfortunate to be sent off on his Champions League debut for Juventus.
“With the ball on the left wing, the forward tried to make a run into the penalty area and was blocked off by Jeison Murillo.
“There was a small push from Ronaldo which resulted in the Valencia defender falling to the floor but that was not violent conduct.
“Referee Felix Brych had his back to the incident.
“It was spotted by the additional assistant, standing behind the goal, who may have thought Ronaldo threw an elbow but that was not the case.
“Ronaldo was then clearly annoyed by Murillo’s play-acting and placed a hand on the defender’s head.
“The contact looked very slight and I cannot see how the additional assistant, standing some 20 yards away, could deem it violent conduct.
“If I had been officiating this game, I would have given Valencia a free-kick and shown a yellow card to each player.
“Ronaldo will serve a one-match ban but anything more would be harsh.”