Cristiano Ronaldo

It seems that Cristiano Ronaldo scratching Carlos Gurpegi in the face is going to cost him and Real Madrid three matches in the tight La Liga championship race, although there’s a very good chance an appeal will reduce the punishment.

In the 1-1 draw with Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao Ronaldo was sent off for what initially looked like a soft tapping in the face of a player that seemed to provoke the whole incident. However, the angle that you’ll see below shows it was more than just a slight touch and Ronaldo meant to hurt Gurpegi, who made the most of the situation.

Ayza Gámez, the referee, might have made a mistake in his match report that might help Real Madrid appeal: Apparently, the referee wrote that Cristiano Ronaldo “attacked Gurpegui when the ball was not in play” but video evidence shows that the referee had not stopped the match when the Portuguese player first hit Athletic’s defender.

The other version Real Madrid are hoping to go on is that Ronaldo was provoked by Gurpegui and the Bilbao players and wasn’t the instigator on the incident.

Ronaldo missed just one match so far this season due to a thigh injury, which they had no problem beating Real Valladolid in 4-0. If he does miss the next three matches, it’ll be against Villarreal, Getafe (away) and Elche.