Gerard Pique accuses Cristiano Ronaldo of flopping to win pivotal free kick

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Spain defender Gerard Pique has implicitly accused Cristiano Ronaldo of flopping to win the free kick that has the entire sports world buzzing.

Ronaldo earned Portugal a thrilling 3-3 draw with Spain in the two teams’ 2018 World Cup opener by sending that free kick over the Spanish wall and into the top corner.

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But Pique has qualms with the foul that led to it. “I barely touched him,” Pique told reporters after the match. “Cristiano is very prone to throwing himself [to the ground].” Pique then reiterated that there was “minimal contact.”

So, does he have a point?

It’s very tough to tell from that angle, and for now, we don’t have any others. As Pique said, the contact appears to be minimal. Ronaldo’s fall looks to be more so in anticipation of contact than in reaction to contact.

But, like with the penalty Ronaldo won early in the match, there’s a chance that a different angle would show a collision between the two players’ knees, upper legs or hips. Pique also appeared to have his hands on Ronaldo.

Should this tackle from Gerard Pique on Cristiano Ronaldo been a foul? (Getty)
Should this tackle from Gerard Pique on Cristiano Ronaldo been a foul? (Getty)

Like so many other decisions, including the no-call in the buildup to Diego Costa’s first goal, this one could go either way. Spain can’t really have any complaints. And, fortunately, this complaint doesn’t seem to have overshadowed Ronaldo’s brilliance on the night.

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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at, or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell, and on Facebook.

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