Real Madrid´s Cristiano Ronaldo may land 12-match ban after referee shove

14 August 2017 10:12

Cristiano Ronaldo is facing up to the possibility of a 12-match ban after his shove on referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea during Real Madrid's 3-1 Supercopa de Espana win over Barcelona.

The Portugal star endured a dramatic outing at Camp Nou on Sunday, coming off the bench to score before getting booked for removing his shirt in celebration.

He took a tumble in the box soon after and earned a second yellow card for an apparent dive, but Ronaldo allowed his anger to get the better of him as he pushed the official, who then included the incident in his match report.

"Player: Cristiano Ronaldo Dos Santos Aveiro. Once the red card was shown, the player pushed me slightly in a sign of disagreement," wrote the referee.

That leaves Ronaldo open to sanction under Article 96 of the Royal Spanish Football Federation's (RFEF) laws, which recommends a suspension of 4-12 matches for players found to "grab, push or shake" an official in a manner that is "slightly violent".

The 32-year-old is already due to serve a one-game ban following his dismissal. If the RFEF's competition committee applies a suspension of five games or more it will apply to all domestic matches. If the ban is four games or fewer, it will apply solely to the Super Cup.

Madrid host Barca in the second leg on Wednesday and begin their LaLiga title defence at Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.

Ronaldo mocks Messi with shirt celebration at Camp Nou

14 August 2017 04:29

Keen to outshine Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo mocked his Barcelona foe with a cheeky shirt celebration in Real Madrid's 3-1 first-leg Supercopa de Espana triumph.

Ronaldo came off the bench and restored Madrid's 2-1 lead at Camp Nou on Sunday, taking off his shirt and holding it up to the home crowd.

It was an imitation of Messi's celebration at the Santiago Bernabeu last season, when the five-time Ballon d'Or winner – who cancelled out Gerard Pique's unfortunate own goal in the second half on Sunday – held up his shirt to the Madrid fans after inspiring a Barca victory in LaLiga.

Ronaldo's mocking of the iconic goal celebration backfired somewhat following his red card just minutes later.

After being booked for his shirtless celebration with 10 minutes remaining, Ronaldo saw red for an apparent dive.

Madrid, though, will still take a commanding lead into Wednesday's return leg thanks to Marco Asensio's late stunner.

Valverde: Barca not as bad as scoreline suggests against Madrid

14 August 2017 02:46

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde does not believe the Supercopa de Espana scoreline was a true reflection of his side's performance against bitter rivals Real Madrid.

It was a night to forget for Barca, who went down 3-1 to Spanish and European champions Madrid in the first leg at Camp Nou on Sunday.

Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off with eight minutes remaining but Madrid still triumphed on enemy territory thanks to the four-time Ballon d'Or winner, Marco Asensio and an own goal from Gerard Pique.

Lionel Messi's 77th-minute penalty restored parity after Barca team-mate Pique turned the ball into his own net early in the second half, however, Madrid finished strongly to take control of the Supercopa.

Speaking to reporters post-match, Valverde said: "I don't have the feeling that we were as far away from [Real Madrid] as the scoreboard indicates.

"They scored three goals, but this was a game in which we played well and had chances.

"Reaching their danger zones isn't all that matters, as you also need to hit the target. I don't believe that we're lacking goalscoring ability, but they were more clinical.

"They caught us in a one-versus-one situation and then scored one wonder goal and then another to make it 3-1. It was an even game and they had a strong central midfield, which made playing inside difficult.

"Their second goal really hurt us. We congratulate them and we will try to improve for the next match."

Barca travel to Madrid for the return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

"We have a very unfavourable aggregate score and the opponent is the favourite," Valverde added. "Now we have to play a second leg and things are never over after one defeat, or after one victory.

"When you lose you want another game to come along quickly to try to put things right. We are a little bit taken aback, but we have time to recover our energy."

Barca got a glimpse into life without Neymar following his world-record move to French giants Paris Saint-Germain.

Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele have been tipped to help fill the void at Barca and Valverde said: "We are Barcelona and we want to have the best team. We have time [to sign] until August 31, but I want to evaluate what we already have inside the club."

Zidane frustrated by Ronaldo´s ´harsh´ red card against Barca

14 August 2017 02:01

Zinedine Zidane was left annoyed by Cristiano Ronaldo's dismissal in the Supercopa de Espana victory at Barcelona, insisting the red card was harsh on the Real Madrid star.

Ronaldo produced a memorable cameo as Madrid defeated arch-rivals Barca 3-1 in the first leg of the Supercopa on Sunday.

The four-time Ballon d'Or winner came off the bench and scored Madrid's second goal with 10 minutes remaining at Camp Nou before being booked for taking off his shirt in celebration.

Ronaldo was then shown a second yellow card for diving after going to ground under pressure from Samuel Umtiti two minutes later, much to the frustration of Madrid head coach Zidane.

"As always, I'm not going to get involved in discussing the work of the referee," the Frenchman told reporters.

"We played a great game, but what annoyed me was Cristiano Ronaldo's dismissal. Maybe there's no penalty, but to show a card [for alleged diving] was a little harsh.

"However, we cannot change that, even if we'll try to have him available for Wednesday."

Madrid drew first blood away from home when Gerard Pique turned the ball into his own net five minutes into the second half.

Lionel Messi restored parity 13 minutes from the end via the penalty spot, before Ronaldo and fellow substitute Marco Asensio put Madrid in a commanding position heading into Wednesday's return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"With 10 men we fought and we believed in the victory right to the end," Zidane said. "This, though, was only one game and now there is the return leg.

"We are happy with the result, but the tie is not decided and we have to play on Wednesday. We'll enjoy tonight and then from tomorrow we'll start working towards Wednesday."

Zidane was particularly complimentary about star attacker Isco and goalscorer Asensio.

On Isco, Zidane said: "When he signed for Real Madrid I was close to the team and I saw him training and he needed time and to play regularly. It doesn't surprise me that he's making a difference, he makes the team play and it's difficult to get the ball off him.

"I'm glad for him because he's growing. We must continue like this. We've only just started."

"Asensio doesn't surprise me," Zidane added. "What he does is phenomenal. He's fast and strikes the ball very well.

"We're happy with him and with everyone. It's not easy to come on like that for 15 minutes. He came on and was quickly in to the match and made the difference. Isco, [Mateo] Kovacic and everyone else had a great game. We must emphasise the team performance."

Ronaldo didn´t dive and Real Madrid could appeal against red card, says Ramos

14 August 2017 01:19

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos says it was wrong to send off Cristiano Ronaldo for a dive in his side's 3-1 Supercopa de Espana first-leg victory over Barcelona.

Ronaldo delivered a remarkable cameo off the bench at Camp Nou, scoring his side's second goal before being booked for taking off his shirt in celebration and then earning a second yellow card after going to ground under pressure from Samuel Umtiti two minutes later.

The 32-year-old pushed referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea in the back before heading off the pitch, meaning he could earn a longer suspension that would keep him out of Madrid's opening games of their LaLiga title defence.

Ramos does not believe his team-mate was deliberately trying to con the officials, however, and suggested that they could appeal against the dismissal.

"He was a long way from me. I think it was a moment of play that unbalanced him and he didn't feign anything," Ramos said after the match, as quoted by AS.

"It could be possible to appeal because it left us without a really important player for 10 minutes. We should think it over a little more."

Ramos had earlier been caught up in a confrontation with Luis Suarez after the Barca striker won a penalty for his side by hurdling a challenge from goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who appeared to make very little contact.

"We're at high levels of tension in this type of game," Ramos explained. "For me, it wasn't a penalty. I don't think the referee blows for something if he doesn't see anything, he would have seen it clearly. For me, there was nothing."

Lionel Messi cancelled out Gerard Pique's own goal from the resulting spot-kick before stunning goals from Ronaldo and Marco Asensio sealed an impressive win for the visitors.

Ramos was delighted with Asensio and midfielder Mateo Kovacic, who earned plenty of praise for his performance in the absence of the suspended Luka Modric.

"I'm very happy for Asensio, I congratulate him, he has a natural talent and every time he comes on he makes a difference," Ramos added.

"Kovacic has a very ugly job that isn't seen, and he does it very well.

"I'm very happy with the game. We're fighting for a trophy and it's an important step."

Barcelona need signings but not because of Supercopa loss, says Busquets

14 August 2017 00:44

Sergio Busquets admits that Barcelona need to make more signings but insists the necessity has not been increased by their Supercopa de Espana first-leg loss to Real Madrid.

Ernesto Valverde's side were beaten 3-1 by the LaLiga champions at Camp Nou on Sunday in a thrilling encounter that gives Zinedine Zidane's side the advantage in the tie.

Lionel Messi cancelled out Gerard Pique's own goal before substitute Cristiano Ronaldo scored Madrid's second and was then sent off for two bookable offences, the first for removing his shirt in celebration and the second for diving under pressure from Samuel Umtiti.

Marco Asensio struck a brilliant third in the dying minutes to seal a deserved win for the visitors, though, who are now in a commanding position ahead of next Wednesday's return game at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Barca are poised to complete the signing of Paulinho from Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao but, although he would welcome additions to the squad, Busquets does not feel Sunday's result proves that they need to invest more in the transfer market, having lost Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.

"The team doesn't need signings because of this result," he said, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo. "We need them because you have to renew things."

"It's very difficult but we go to the Bernabeu with the intention of coming back. We don't look for excuses."

Barca general manager Pep Segura added that the defeat would not influence their actions in the final two weeks of the transfer window.

"It's a disappointment for all the fans," he said. "It's a situation in which we have shown in the past that we have the ability to go to the Bernabeu and win.

"A result doesn't determine the planning on the sporting side. In the first half, we gave a very good impression. The own goal from Pique hurt us a lot."