Staying calm is not something one would associate with Cristiano Ronaldo. Over the course of a long, illustrious career, there have been numerous instances of the footballer flipping his lid on the field. Perhaps this is the only humane element that exists in his game, an affirmation that super athletes are no different from us normal folk when it comes to handling high-stress situations. 

While leaving the pitch after an abysmal performance from Manchester United that culminated in a 1-0 defeat to Everton, Ronaldo was seen knocking off a phone out of a supporter’s hand. The incident soon surfaced on social media, drawing the ire of netizens. 

Ronaldo soon came up with an apology and also offered an invitation to “this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship”.

Here we look at five other instances of the Portuguese winger losing his temper on the field:

Manchester United vs Portsmouth (2007-08)

Cristiano Ronaldo had to serve a three-match ban for headbutting Portsmouth’s Richard Hughes in 2007. Down to 10 men, United soon squandered a 1-0 lead settled for a draw. Later on, Sir Alex Ferguson advised Ronaldo not to mess up with “inferior players”. It might be just another altercation for Ronaldo but for Hughes, this was one of the highlights of his career. 

‘Should I ever meet people who don’t necessarily remember me playing Premier League football, I can always tell them that one of the game’s greats headbutted me,’ Hughes remarked. 

Real Madrid vs Malaga (2010)

It was an eventful night for Ronaldo, who scored two crucial goals before his swinging arms caught Patrick Mtiliga in the face, and the latter was left with a broken nose. Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off straightaway, and also handed a two-match ban. Real Madrid managed to hold on to a 2-0 lead, but later in the season, they blew away a five-point lead to Barcelona. 

Real Madrid vs Barcelona (2010)

A rivalry forged in fire, stakes are high when Real Madrid and Barcelona square off against each other. The 2010 edition of El Classico was a boon for the storytellers, for there was a story of hope, despair, and anguish in equal measure. Real Madrid suffered a tormenting 5-0 defeat to Barcelona, and it could have been even worse. The goals, however, have been pushed to the margin of collective consciousness. The overriding memory from that clash has been of the one between Cristiano Ronaldo and Pep Guardiola

cristiano ronaldo fight

Standing on the sideline, Guardiola picked up the ball that has gone out of the play. When Ronaldo tried to reach the ball for a throw, Guardiola flicked it away from him. Already 2-0 down in the game, Ronaldo lost his cool and pushed off Guardiola. At first it seemed like a minor confrontation but soon turned out into a full-fledged fight between both sides. 

Juventus vs Bayer Leverkusen (2019)

After Juventus’ 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen in the 2019 Champions League, two supporters stormed into the field toward Ronaldo. While the first invader hugged him in the middle, the second hold him by his neck for a selfie. Visibly frustrated, Ronaldo pushed away the fan before security staff took him away. 

Manchester United vs Liverpool (2021)

It hasn’t been a smooth ride for Cristiano Ronaldo ever since he joined his boyhood club. In 2021, during a game against Liverpool, the player was involved in an ugly exchange with Curtis Jones. With Manchester United trailing by 3-0, Ronaldo first fouled Jones and then violently kicked him while he was flat on his back.