Madrid: Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane expressed his anger on Tuesday at a five-game ban handed to Cristiano Ronaldo for pushing a referee after being sent-off against Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup. Madrid hold a 3-1 first leg lead going into the second leg against their fierce rivals on Wednesday, but will have to do without Ronaldo. The World Player of the Year was controversially shown a second yellow card for diving on Sunday and handed an extra four-game ban for a light push on referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea after being shown the 10th red card of his career.
“We are very annoyed,” said Zidane. “When you look at everything that happened, to think Cristiano won’t play five games with us... It is infuriating.” Madrid’s appeal against the red card, which could reduce the ban from five games to four, will be held before the game on Wednesday. “The (appeals) committee will meet and I hope they look well upon it,” added Zidane.
“Cristiano is annoyed because he wants to play and when he doesn’t play, he isn’t happy.” Ronaldo was on the field for just 24 action-packed minutes on Sunday as he was only introduced as a second-half substitute after a curtailed pre-season due to his participation in the Confederations Cup with Portugal. He made a huge impact with a stunning strike to put Madrid into a 2-1 lead 10 minutes from time, but unwisely picked up his first yellow card for removing his shirt in celebration.
And two minutes later he was dismissed as he fell inside the area under pressure from Samuel Umtiti. “Cristiano’s ban is excessive,” added Madrid defender Dani Carvajal. “It is a frustrating feeling for him. Hopefully the committee will reduce it by a few games.” Should Ronaldo’s appeal not be upheld, he will miss Madrid’s first four La Liga games of the season against Deportivo la Coruna, Valencia, Levante and Real Sociedad.
However, Zidane insisted he is not desperate to add to his forward line before the transfer window closes on August 31, despite selling strikers Alvaro Morata and Mariano Diaz this summer. Real have been linked for months with a move for Monaco’s 18-year-old sensation Kylian Mbappe, but look set to be beaten to the Frenchman’s signature by free-spending Paris Saint-Germain. “Anything can happen between now and August 31, but what I can say is that I am very happy with the players I have,” said Zidane....