Cristiano Ronaldo’s tears at being sent off against Valencia were likely a combination of frustration at missing a chance to prove a point in Spain, and awareness of his importance to Juventus’ Champions League campaign.
Italian football journalist James Horncastle believes that a coalescence of these factors was responsible for an emotional reaction at the decision made by the referee at the Mestalla.
“I think he will be completely aware of the significance of his move to Juventus for that club insofar as they want him to do the business in that competition. It’s pretty irrelevant what he does in Serie A because they […] don’t need him for that. They need him for the Champions League.
“So to be sent off and with the potential to miss two games - including one away to Old Trafford where he is fondly remembered – is maybe the cause of those tears.”
Personal pride was also at stake, with Ronaldo’s first club return to the Iberian peninsula since his move from Real Madrid in the summer.
“I wonder how much of it as well was being back in Spain for the first time.
“In the build-up to that game, you had a lot of Real Madrid players saying ‘We are more of a team now that Ronaldo isn’t here’, as though they were better off without him. I think he wanted to prove something that evening because that’s just the way he is wired.
“Also, in the first twenty minutes, he sensed that Valencia were there for the taking.
“The disappointment of missing that opportunity also contributed to the tears that we saw as he left the pitch.”
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