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While his playing time has decreased since Erik ten Hag arrived at Old Trafford, Cristiano Ronaldo is still one of the biggest names in world soccer. He might not be the perfect player, but the Portuguese striker is more than capable of putting the ball in the back of the net. It’s possible, however, that CR7 could be facing an enforced spell on the sidelines.

Although the easy assumption might be that a man of his age might have picked up a nagging injury, that isn’t the case. Instead, Ronaldo could be facing a multi-match suspension for his behavior at the end of the 2021-22 season.

Cristiano Ronaldo is facing an ‘FA charge of improper and/or violent conduct’

While he’s not quite at Michael Jordan’s level of taking things personally, Cristiano Ronaldo can be a fiery character. Last season, though, he let that temper manifest in the wrong way.

As the Manchester United players were walking off the field after a loss at Everton, the Portuguese striker knocked a cell phone out of a supporter’s hand. The Merseyside Police “cautioned” Ronaldo, and he both apologized on social media and invited the Everton supporter to a match in Manchester (h/t the Guardian).

The issue, however, hasn’t been completely confined to the past.

On October 12, Jamie Jackson of the Guardian reported that Ronaldo “will be supported by Manchester United as they attempt to ensure he does not receive a multi-game ban when answering a Football Association charge of improper and/or violent conduct.”

According to the write-up, it’s expected that the striker won’t deny the charge but will explain his side of the story in an attempt to avoid a suspension.

The Portuguese star has until Monday, October 17, to respond to the English FA.

While it’s unclear what the future hold, this season isn’t an ideal time for Ronaldo to be facing a suspension

Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch during Manchester United's win over Everton.
Cristiano Ronaldo during Manchester United’s win over Everton. | Michael Regan/Getty Images

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As sports fans around the globe can tell you, suspension processes, especially when appeals are factored in, can be tricky. At this point, it’s not clear if Ronaldo will be suspended, let alone when. With that being said, though, the current campaign is probably the worst time for United to potentially lose a striker.

Thanks to the 2022 World Cup, the European football calendar is incredibly compressed. During the month of October, for example, United are slated to play nine matches across domestic and international competitions, with four more fixtures taking place in the first half of November. Assuming Ronaldo is sidelined for roughly three Premier League matches, that calendar could be a problem.

Things are further complicated by Anthony Martial’s injury. While the easiest plan would be starting the Frenchman in the league and letting Ronaldo play in European competitions (which has largely been how things have worked thus far), the former striker has picked up another injury. It doesn’t seem too serious, but that still adds an extra complication. If CR7 can’t come off the bench, the Red Devils don’t really have a rotation option within the league. Do you want to play Martial for every minute, knowing he’s a bit fragile, especially if the game is out of reach?

It’s possible that, in a worst-case scenario, both Martial and Ronaldo will be unavailable at the same time. United could make do with Marcus Rashford up top, but that would require ten Hag to make some changes to his (mostly) successful formation.

At this point in time, though, Manchester United supporters will just have to hold their collective breath and see how things play out. Even if he hasn’t been a starter this season, it would still complicate matters to go multiple matches without Cristiano Ronaldo.

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