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Ronaldo sent off in 1st Champions League game with Juventus

September 19, 2018
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Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after receiving a red card during the Champions League, group H soccer match between Valencia and Juventus, at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

VALENCIA, Spain (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off in his first Champions League match for Juventus, leaving the Portugal star in tears as he walked off the pitch.

Ronaldo was dismissed in the 29th minute of Juve’s match at Valencia on Wednesday after tangling with Jeison Murillo. The score was goalless at the time but Juventus went on to win 2-0, with Miralem Pjanic converting two penalties.

After Murillo went down inside the area, the Portugal forward gestured for his opponent to get up, then put his hand on the Valencia defender’s head and appeared to tug his hair. Referee Felix Brych showed Ronaldo a straight red card after discussing with his assistant behind the goal.

Ronaldo looked baffled and kept professing his innocence, sitting down on the pitch in disbelief. The five-time world player of the year was clearly distraught as he left the pitch, still shaking his head. It was his first red card in 154 Champions League games, and the decision means he could miss a return to Old Trafford when Juventus plays Manchester United next month if he gets at least a two-match ban.

Juventus hosts Young Boys next in the competition before two straight games against United, with the first match in England on Oct. 23. The Italian club could appeal the red card decision.

The 33-year-old Ronaldo joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the offseason and scored his first two goals for the Italian club this past weekend in a 2-1 win over Sassuolo in Serie A.

Ronaldo is the Champions League all-time leading scorer with 120 goals and led Madrid to the title the last three years in a row.

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