Sunday evening’s Serie A clash between AC Milan and Juventus at the San Siro turned out to be a thoroughly miserable occasion for Gonzalo Higuain.
The Argentine striker, who is currently on a season-long loan at Milan from Juve, would have been desperate to prove a point in this fixture.
However, the 30-year-old ended up missing a penalty in the first half before totally losing his head after getting sent off shortly before full-time.
Higuain was shown two yellow cards in quick succession – the second for dissent towards referee Paulo Mazzoleni – and reacted furiously.
He approached Mazzoleni demanding answers before being ushered away from the match official by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Higuain then turned his anger towards Ronaldo, screaming at his former Real Madrid teammate while pushing him away.
Ronaldo remained calm in the face of Higuain’s meltdown and could be seen saying something to the South American forward.
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Gonzalo Higuain's head has gone. 🤯
— Eleven Sports (@ElevenSports_UK) November 11, 2018
Ronaldo, who scored Juve’s second goal in the 2-0 victory, confirmed after the match that he’s told Higuain to calm down in order to avoid risking an even longer ban.
“I told him to calm down, as he risked an even heavier ban,” Ronaldo told Sky Sport Italia, per Football Italia.
“He didn’t do much, he was irritable at losing the game, that’s understandable and I hope he is not punished too severely.”
Respect to Ronaldo for his measured reaction. He could have been forgiven for feeling let down – or even angry – towards Higuain for lashing out at him.
But, instead, he came out and publicly stated his wish that Higuain avoids a severe punishment from the Italian Football Federation.
A touch of class from Cristiano, which Higuain will surely appreciate – once he finally calms down, anyway.
Higuain was involved in a similar incident back in April 2016, during his spell with Napoli, and was banned for four games (later reduced to three).
On that occasion, the striker put his hands on the referee and took a long time to leave the pitch, lashing out at various people along the way.
Higuain just about managed to refrain from pushing Mazzoleni following his latest red card – which suggests he learned *something* from that incident against Udinese two years ago – but he will be fortunate to avoid anything less than a two-game ban, despite Ronaldo’s kind words.