Cristiano Ronaldo could only laugh in exasperation when he was sent off in the 77th minute of Real Madrid's match against Athletic Bilbao. After getting lightly shoved by Bilbao's Carlos Gurpegui as he appealed to the referee, Ronaldo responded by grabbing Gurpegui's hair, which somehow made the man suddenly lose the ability to stand up.
Ronaldo then went toe to toe with Ander Iturraspe and the referee decided all of that was enough for a straight red to the Ballon d'Or winner (Bilbao's Mikel Balenziaga was shown a yellow). The score was 1-1 at the time and despite finishing the match with 10 men, Real Madrid held on for the draw, which wasn't enough to take advantage of Barcelona's loss to Valencia the day before.
The last time a Ballon d'Or winner was sent off? Well, that was Ronaldo too...
No reigning Ballon D'Or holder has been sent off in official game since Dec 2009 - when Ronaldo saw red v Almeria [via @2010MisterChip ]
— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) February 2, 2014