Cristiano Ronaldo has hit out at his five-match ban, branding the sanction "exaggerated and ridiculous" and alleging that he is being persecuted.
The Real Madrid star was handed the suspension after being sent off and then shoving the referee in Real Madrid's 3-1 Supercopa de Espana first-leg victory over Barcelona on Sunday.
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) upheld the ban on Wednesday, meaning Ronaldo will sit out Wednesday's second leg of the Supercopa, followed by Liga matches away to Deportivo La Coruna, at home to Valencia and Levante and away to Real Sociedad.
And Ronaldo has since taken to Instagram to voice his disapproval, writing: "Impossible to be unaffected by this situation, 5 games!!
"It seems exaggerated and ridiculous, this is called persecution!
"Thanks to my teammates for the support and the fans!!!"
A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on Aug 16, 2017 at 9:19am PDT
The Portugal star played out a dramatic cameo at Camp Nou, coming off the bench to score a stunner before getting booked for removing his shirt in celebration.
He took a tumble in the box just two minutes later and earned a second yellow card for an apparent dive, but Ronaldo allowed his anger to get the better of him as he then pushed referee Ricardo de Burgos.
The 32-year-old could have been suspended for a maximum of 12 games, but the RFEF opted to impose a five-match ban.
One game was attributed to his dismissal and four were as a consequence of his behaviour toward De Burgos.
The RFEF has also fined Ronaldo €3,850 and his club a total of €1,750.
Discussing the ban earlier this week, Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane said: "It bothers me, when I see five matches and what [punishment] they want to give him it bothers me.
"Cristiano wants to play. When he doesn't play he's not happy."
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