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Ronaldo hit with two-match ban

Real to appeal against punishment for record signing's red card

By Ben Collins.   Last Updated: 26/01/10 6:39pm

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Ronaldo: Waiting on appeal

Ronaldo: Waiting on appeal

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Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been hit with a two-match ban after being sent off against Malaga on Saturday.

The Portuguese star scored both goals in a 2-0 win but was then shown a straight red card in the 70th minute for elbowing Malaga's Patrick Mtiliga in the face.

The Denmark defender had tugged at Ronaldo's shirt and the world's most expensive player lashed out, leaving Mtiliga with a broken nose.

The Spanish giants have decided to appeal the decision and the hearing has been set for Thursday.

"Seeing the move, he clearly did not want to hurt the opponent," Real's vice president, Emilio Butragueno, told Marca.

"I was a striker and when you are challenged you want to free yourself."

If Real are unsuccessful then Ronaldo will miss Saturday's trip to fifth-placed Deportivo La Coruna and the following week's visit of Espanyol.

The club's sporting director, Jorge Valdano, described the decision as "unfair and very hard".

"We regret very much the injury to the Malaga player and accept any decision, but we defend the conviction that we are right," he told Spanish radio COPE.

Although Ronaldo has scored 15 goals in 16 games for Real since leaving Manchester United for £80million in the summer, he has also been sent off twice.

The former Sporting Lisbon player was also given his marching orders in the 4-2 win over Almeria in early December after a second yellow card.

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