If the Spanish football federation (RFEF) were to give Cristiano Ronaldo a birthday card, it would read something like this: 'Happy Birthday! Here's a a three-match ban!'
Perhaps it wouldn't be phrased exactly like that, but they have given the Real Madrid superstar a suspension today, which is also his 29th birthday.
It's all Cristiano Ronaldo's fault anyway, as he gave the referee on Sunday no choice but to dimiss him when he made to scratch the face of Athletic Bilbao defender Carlos Gurpegui.
Ronaldo has been suspended for three matches, which means he will miss the Liga clashes with Villareal, Elche and Getafe.
One quirk of the RFEF disciplinary system means that he will be available for the derby Copa del Rey semi-final matches with Atletico Madrid, which take place tonight and next week. However, if his ban has been for four matches he would be suspended from both cup and league matches.
Real Madrid drew the match on Sunday 1-1 and failed to take the opportunity to leap ahead rivals Barcelona into second after the Camp Nou side suffered a shock 3-2 loss at home to Valencia, instead the two clubs are now level on points, with Atletico leading by three points.
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