Business News Cristiano Ronaldo - Page 8

Cristiano Ronaldo

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match which also saw him miss a penalty. He was carded first for removing his shirt during a goal celebration, then for kicking out at an opponent three minutes later.

International career

Ronaldo earned his first cap for Portugal in a 1–0 victory against Kazakhstan on 20 August 2003. He was called up for Euro 2004, scoring in a 2–1 group stage loss to eventual champions Greece and in a 2–1 semi-final win over the Netherlands. He was named in the team of the tournament despite finishing with only two goals. That same year, he also represented Portugal at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

2006 World Cup

Ronaldo was the second-highest scorer in FIFA World Cup qualification in the European zone with seven goals, and scored his first World Cup goal against Iran with a penalty kick.

During a quarter-final match against England on 1 July 2006, Ronaldo's United teammate Wayne Rooney was sent off for stamping on Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho. The English media speculated that Ronaldo had influenced referee Horacio Elizondo's decision by aggressively complaining, after which he was seen in replays winking at the Portuguese bench following Rooney's dismissal. After the match, Ronaldo insisted that Rooney was a friend and that he was not pushing for Rooney to be sent off. On 4 July, Elizondo clarified that the red card was due to Rooney's infraction and not the fracas between Rooney and Ronaldo that followed.

The angry reaction from the English press caused Ronaldo to consider leaving United, and he allegedly told Spanish sports daily Marca that he wished to move to Real Madrid. In response to the speculation, Ferguson sent Portuguese assistant manager Carlos Queiroz to speak to Ronaldo in attempt to change his mind, a sentiment that was shared by Rooney. Ronaldo stayed, and signed his new five-year extension in April 2007.

Ronaldo was booed during Portugal's semi-final defeat to France, and missed out on the competition's Best Young Player award due to a negative e-mail campaign from England fans. Though the online vote only affected the nomination process,