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15th Jun 2018

People are divided over whether Cristiano Ronaldo should have been awarded a penalty against Spain

There was certainly contact

Reuben Pinder

Game on…

Portugal vs Spain was always going to deliver. It’s the first game of the group stage between two sides of genuine quality. Spain go into this tournament with high hopes of amending for 2014’s disastrous campaign, but the managerial crisis that saw Julen Lopetegui leave may have rocked the morale of their camp. Meanwhile, Portugal go into this World Cup having won the European Championships two years ago and while there are weaknesses in the team, they also have Cristiano Ronaldo.

The game got off to a flying start as Ronaldo was awarded a penalty in the opening minutes after being tripped by his Real Madrid teammate Nacho Fernandez, who stepped in for the injured Dani Carvajal.

There was clear contact, but some people don’t think the decision to give the penalty was justified, claiming that Ronaldo initiated contact and tumbled to the ground unnecessarily.

It wouldn’t be the first time Ronaldo went down easily, but it would be harsh to insinuate that this was complete simulation.

VAR is available for the referees to call upon at this World Cup, but in this situation, referee Gianluca Rocchi saw no need to do so.

There were just as many people asserting that it was a definite penalty, though. If anything, the divided opinion just demonstrates what a difficult job referees have in deciding what constitutes a foul and what doesn’t/