Former Chelsea winger Juan Cuadrado has spent most of the last two seasons on loan at Juventus, until his stay was made permanent as The Old Lady exercised their mandatory 20m buy-option triggered by winning the Serie A. Unfortunately, there will be no additional bonus payments to that sum as Juventus rather spectacularly imploded in the second half of Saturday’s Champions League final, handing Real Madrid their third Big Ears trophy in four years. As Real became the first team to defend their title in the Champions League era, Juventus were left to reflect on what could’ve been, failing to make good on 1-1 scoreline at half-time.
Juventus were already losing 3-1 by the time Juan Cuadrado got the call from the bench. Not five minutes later, he was already in the books for a poorly timed tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo, but worse was to come for the man who graced Stamford Bridge for a grand total of six months.
Sure, Sergio Ramos exaggerated the contact as Sergio Ramos tends to do, but it was still a pretty silly thing to do. Just go get the ball and not get involved even a little bit. Cuadrado will no doubt claim innocence and accidental contact. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. If this involved Chelsea, we’d be furious. As it is, it’s pretty funny.
Whatever your opinion of the incident, the referee deemed it worthy of a second yellow card. Cuadrado thus became the third player to be sent off in a Champions League final, and the first as a substitute. Making history! Chelsea DNA!
Better luck next year, Juve. (But not too much, especially if they’d need to face Chelsea.)