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The Sacred Armband

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s controversial decision on a frustrating night at Belgrade in a World Cup qualifier has turned out to be positive after all. Duty firefighter Djordje Vukicevic picked up the armband from the pitch after Ronaldo had stormed off at the end of the 2-2 draw in Belgrade.

“Ronaldo was agitated and he threw the armband. It fell right next to me,” Vukicevic said. He decided to put it up for auction to raise money for treatment for Gavrilo Djurdjevic from Serbia, who is suffering from spinal muscular atrophy.

“The entire crew agreed this [armband] will go for little Gavrilo,” he said.  The winning bid for the armband was 64,000 euros. 


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Cristiano Ronaldo – perhaps the greatest footballer of this generation alongside Lionel Messi – could potentially face sanctions from football’s world governing body, FIFA for disrespectful behaviour. The Juventus talisman slammed his captain’s armband in a World Cup qualifier against Serbia when the linesman deemed that his shot hadn’t crossed the goal line in what would have been a match-winning strike from the Portuguese captain in second-half injury time, but a six-month-old infant might be the benefactor of Ronaldo’s embittered emotional display.


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Although the conduct of the former Real Madrid star can land him in trouble, it could potentially save the life of a six-month old baby in Serbia. The blue armband was picked by a stadium worker after the referee blew the full-time whistle and was handed over to a charity organisation that decided to make use of it for nobler purposes.

It is currently being auctioned by the charity outfit to pay for a Serbian baby’s medical treatment who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy and is required to undergo a surgery to alleviate the condition.


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Diogo Jota had given Portugal a two goal lead in the first half of the World Cup qualifier, but the tide turned in the Serbians’ favour in the second half as they fought back to restore parity courtesy of two goals scored by Aleksandar Mitrovic and Filip Kostic in the 46th and 60th minute respectively.

Ronaldo stepped up in injury time for the reigning European champions as he scooped the ball above the Serbian goalkeeper only to see Mitrovic earn a point for the Serbs through a last ditch goal-line clearance. Frustrated with the linesman’s decision that the ball hadn’t crossed the goal line, the Portuguese flung the captain’s armband on the pitch and left for the dressing room before the match came to an end.




His reckless behaviour has surely raised a lot of eyebrows within the footballing fraternity, and FIFA is mulling over taking strict action against the 5-time Ballon D’Or winner for unsportsmanlike conduct on-field.

While the decision to rule out the apparent goal has caused a lot of stir and controversy among fans and football pundits alike, Ronaldo’s impulsive angry reaction to not being granted the goal may actually end up saving the life of an infant who is grappling with a serious health condition


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