Cristiano Ronaldo lost his cool, and now Real Madrid has lost its main man for five matches at the start of the Spanish season. Ronaldo was banned for five games after shoving a referee who sent him off for diving in Madrid’s 3-1 win over Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup.
Ronaldo was suspended for one game for the red card in Sunday’s Super Cup first leg at Barcelona, and four games for pushing referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea in the back, the Spanish football federation said. Ronaldo will miss Wednesday’s return leg of the Super Cup in Madrid plus the first four matches of Real Madrid’s league title defense. Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid opens the league Sunday at Deportivo La Coruna. Its next three matches after that are against Valencia, promoted Levante, and at Real Sociedad.
Ronaldo and Madrid have 10 days to appeal the federation’s ruling. Still regaining peak fitness after an extended summer vacation, Ronaldo began the Super Cup match on the bench, and came on in the 58th minute. He scored with a long-range strike to put Madrid up, 2-1, in the 80th minute, moments after Lionel Messi had equalized for Barcelona from the penalty spot. But Ronaldo’s goal celebration — when he took his shirt off and flexed his muscles — earned him a yellow card. Two minutes later, he charged into the area and collided with Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti. Ronaldo went down hoping for a penalty. Instead, De Burgos showed him a second yellow for diving and sent him off. Ronaldo raised his arms in disbelief, then stepped up to De Burgos and shoved him in the back with his right hand . . .
Barcelona says it has reached a deal with Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande to buy Brazil midfielder Paulinho for $47 million. The Spanish club says that the 29-year-old Paulinho will sign a four-year contract after a medical exam Thursday. He is set to be Barcelona’s first signing since Neymar left for Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record $262 million last week . . . Jisheng Gao, chairman of Chinese sports investment company Lander, has bought an 80 percent stake in Southampton with daughter, Nelly Gao, for $272 million, a person familiar with the deal told the Associated Press. The Premier League club has been owned by the Liebherr family from Switzerland since 2009. Southampton is the fifth club in England’s top two divisions to be owned by Chinese investors, joining West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League, and Aston Villa, Birmingham, and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the League Championship.
Via Boston Globe