Juventus: Ronaldo grabs headlines despite drawing blank on debut

Cristiano Ronaldo was centre of attention after hospitalising his adversary and handling the ball in his first outing for the Old Lady.

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REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

All eyes were turned to the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi on Sunday as Juventus headed their for their opening day fixture in Serie A.

Of course, it was not just the fact that last season’s champions were opening their account for the new season that had caused such a media storm. This was also Cristiano Ronaldo’s Serie A debut.

With the Portuguese forward always looking to make a name for himself wherever he goes, the former Real Madrid player will have been disappointed not to have scored in the course of the game.

He did, however, make a name for himself in an entirely different way.

Ronaldo vs Sorrentino

Realsport’s preview for the match between Chievo and Juventus pinpointed Cristiano Ronaldo vs Stefano Sorrentino as the key battle of the clash. However, the contest became more physical than expected when a late clash between the two left the veteran keeper unconscious on the pitch.

The man they call ‘The Tiger’ prevented the Portuguese star from opening his account in Turin with several excellent saves as Chievo stunned their visitors by taking a 2-1 lead. 

However, with Juventus finally equalising at the game working its way to an exciting finale, a moment of controversy occurred late in the game that saw Ronaldo making the headlines for an entirely less savoury reason.

REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

Following a late Juventus attack which ended with Mario Mandzukic heading the ball over the line, Ronaldo’s leg struck the head of the rival goalkeeper, leaving him out cold.

While Sorrentino’s teammates rushed to his aid, slapping his face and putting him in the recovery position, viewers saw key Juventus players celebrating the goal, an act Paulo Dybala later apologised for on social media. However, the club’s army of online detractors wasted no time in using the incident to highlight the club’s affinity with the dark arts.

REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

The referee initially awarded the goal but reversed the decision on review as Ronaldo had handled the ball in the build-up.

Club doctors treated Sorrentino and then stretchered him off but he was soon back on his feet. He pleaded to be able to carry on playing — unaware at that stage he had a broken nose and suffered whiplash — but Chievo’s medical staff refused and Andrea Seculin replaced him. 

The substitute barely had time to get settled between the sticks when Federico Bernardeschi slotted home the winner for the reigning champions.

Thank you, Legend!

After the game, Sorrentino took to Twitter to show the extent of his injuries.

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