Why Portsmouth and Republic of Ireland keeper Gavin Bazunu had his dreams shattered once again by Cristiano Ronaldo

Gavin Bazunu’s international hopes have once again been shattered by Cristiano Ronaldo.

By Mark McMahon
Friday, 12th November 2021, 11:43 am

Only on this occasion, the keeper’s dreams were undone by a combination of ‘CR7’ and a young Republic of Ireland fan.

The Pompey stopper, who is currently on loan from Manchester City, has been involved in an intriguing on-the-pitch battle with the Portugal forward during the ongoing World Cup qualifiers.

It started with the 19-year-old saving a 15th-minute penalty from Ronaldo during Ireland’s Group A game in Faro back in September – a stop which denied the Manchester United front man the men's all-time international scoring record.

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Yet Ronaldo got his own back late in that game with two dramatic headers to deny Bazunu a famous clean sheet and rescue the three points for the hosts.

On Thursday night, the duo went head-to-head once again, in Dublin, as the fourth-placed Irish played out their last remaining home match in the group.

Bazunu did his bit in keeping Ronaldo & Co at bay by recording his second consecutive clean sheet for his country as the game ended goalless.

But just when he thought he had earned the right to receive the legend’s shirt at the final whistle – just like in Faro, disappointment wasn’t far away.

Gavin Bazunu kept a clean sheet as the Republic of Ireland held Ronaldo's Portugal to a goalless draw in Dublin. Picture: Oisin Keniry/Getty Images

Indeed, after seemingly agreeing to the request from the Blues stopper, Ronaldo suddenly found himself confronted by a young Irish girl on the pitch who was desperate to meet her hero.

And rather than disappoint her, he happily handed her his match jersey – much to Bazunu’s dismay.

The moment was caught in camera, and it’s hard not to feel for the keeper who looked on regretfully as he was denied his special piece of memorabilia from his Ronaldo encounter.

Cristiano Ronaldo Picture: Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images