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Player Who Cristiano Ronaldo Headbutted Claims It Was A Career Highlight

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Player Who Cristiano Ronaldo Headbutted Claims It Was A Career Highlight

Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off for Manchester United in a game against Portsmouth in 2007, and the man on the end of the 'attack' has claimed it was a career highlight.

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Ronaldo has come up against many defenders in his career who have no doubt named him as their toughest opponent following their meeting.

One defender really found him tough, when he landed a headbut on him, with Ronaldo shown a red card for landing one on Richard Hughes 14 years ago.

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Hughes came on late in the game to bolster Pompey's defence in the game with the hosts down to 10 men and holding United to a 1-1 draw.

Ronaldo got frustrated with the situation and heabutted Hughes, who now counts it as a career highlight.

"It was a trivial moment," Hughes told Played Up Pompey Three, via the Sun, "One of the highlights of my career, but an insignificant encounter for Cristiano Ronaldo.

"I’m not someone who scored loads of goals, so I have to remember other landmarks.

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"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."

Ronaldo and Hughes argue before the red card is shown. Image: PA Images
Ronaldo and Hughes argue before the red card is shown. Image: PA Images

Whilst it was a big moment for Hughes, it was probably one of the worst part of Ronaldo's then young career, with United suffering a second straight draw at the beginning of the season.

Sir Alex Ferguson wasn't happy with the forward. Not necessarily because of the red card, but actually because the incident happened with Hughes.

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"Sir Alex Ferguson afterwards said Ronaldo shouldn’t get involved with inferior players," Hughes added.

"He was absolutely right, I am an inferior player. Did I take offence?

"Well, 99 per cent of the footballing world is inferior to Cristiano Ronaldo, so I had absolutely no problem with that."

The Portugal star's red card saw him suspended for the next game, which was the Manchester derby, and United lost, meaning they failed to win any of their opening three Premier League games.

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Ronaldo had also failed to score in those opening matches, but by the end of the season he'd have put that right in the most emphatic way possible.

Ronaldo goes down against Portsmouth later that season. Image: PA Images
Ronaldo goes down against Portsmouth later that season. Image: PA Images

The former Sporting winger scored 42 goals all season as Fergie's side won a Premier League and Champions League double, and might have won another treble.

The team that stopped them recreating their feat from 1999 was again Portsmouth, with the south coast side beating United at Old Trafford in the FA Cup sixth round, with more controversy when Ronaldo felt he should have had a penalty early in the game.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo, Premier League, Portsmouth

Ryan Sidle
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