Cristiano Ronaldo will miss Real Madrid’s next three league games after his dismissal for swiping at the face of Athletic Bilbao’s Carlos Gurpegui at the weekend.
Referee Miguel Ayza Gamez gave the Portuguese star his marching orders after the incident, with the official later adding that the card was not just for the incident with Gurpegui but also his entanglement with Athletic’s Ander Iturraspe.
Gamez is said to have initially told his fellow officials that Ronaldo was sent off for raising his hand to Gurpegi but has reportedly since changed his story.
Real Madrid is understood to be angry with the change in reasoning, and have 10 days to appeal the red card.
The RFEF’s official judgment said that Ronaldo received a one-match ban for the red-card incident and tangling with Iturraspe, plus an additional two-game ban for an “offensive gesture” following his dismissal.
He will miss the Liga clashes against Villarreal, Elche and Getafe, but remains available for the Copa del Rey clash with Atletico Madrid.
Ronaldo who celebrated his 29th birthday yesterday was also fined 1,200 euros (£1,000), with Real being fined 1,050 euros. It will certainly be an interesting time to check the scores at Footballscores.com to see whether Madrid can continue their fine form without their star man.
Meanwhile, former Real Madrid goalkeeper Paco Buyo believes Ronaldo didn’t deserve to be sent off against Athletic Bilbao and let alone receive a three-match ban.
“It doesn’t seem fair to me,“ Buyo told Goal.com. “The gesture is a little disrespectful, but it’s nothing serious. The referee could have given a yellow card to Cristiano and the other two Athletic players.”
Of those, only Iturraspe was booked as Gurpegi escaped a caution, despite initially pushing Ronaldo and then theatrically falling to the ground in an attempt to get the Ballon d’Or holder sent off.
“The provocation comes from the Athletic player,” Buyo added. “Three yellow cards (would have sufficed); the referee showed he is not prepared to officiate these kind of games.
“The one who did the least was Cristiano and he was sent off. If that’s a red card, then there should be many more sent off in Spain every week. For me, there was nothing extra special about what Cristiano did (compared to the others).”
Buyo insisted that the Madeira-born forward is also targeted more than other players, but does admit he made a mistake on Sunday.
“It’s not easy to live with so much pressure,” he said. “He is used to it, but sometimes players make little mistakes – not just Cristiano but other footballers as well.
“Cristiano puts up with a lot: he is kicked, he is provoked and sometimes his actions are judged differently because of who he is, because he plays for Real Madrid, because he is the Ballon d’Or (holder) and because he is the best player in the world.
“There are many interests in football and he is placed under a different spotlight.”