On August 7th, a college student was jailed for a day and now faces charges for hugging Real Madrid soccer star, Cristiano Ronaldo. The over-zealous soccer fan rushed on to the Sun Life Stadium soccer field and proceeded to hug the soccer player during a match between Real Madrid and Chelsea.
The fan is a 19-year-old Albanian native and Canadian citizen, named Ronald Gjoka, who attends Palm Beach State Community College. Due to the incident, the young man now faces serious legal issues, including deportation.
After hearing of Gjoka's plight, the Cristiano Ronaldo (arguably the most famous soccer player since Pele), wrote a letter on behalf of his fan to the Miami-Dade State attorney's office.
A copy of the letter was obtained by the Miami Herald. “I am concerned because I understand he may face potential problems with Immigration and his college if the criminal charges against him are not dismissed … I understand your position and the importance of enforcing rules and laws. However, I respectfully request that you and your office reconsider this decision and dismiss the two criminal charges this young man faces.”
Signed, “Sincerely, Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Gjoko lives with his mother in Lake Worth and is currently in the US on a student visa . He says he is a true Ronaldo fan and given his proximity to the soccer player on that day, he could not resists running on to the field to give him a hug. The hug caused the stadium to erupt with cheers that lasted about 30 seconds.
Gjoka’s attorney, Richard Hujber, was the one that reached out to Ronaldo's lawyer, asking that Ronaldo write a letter on his client's behalf. Hujber say his client acknowledges his mistake. Huber is now asking that the stadium officials and local Miami-Dade attorney's office dismiss the charges and says his client already received punishment from having to spend a day in jail.