By DAN KARELL
Cristiano Ronaldo, who celebrates his 29th birthday today, learned some disappointing news on Wednesday morning.
The Real Madrid star learned on Wednesday that his red card against Athletic Bilbao was confirmed by the Spanish Football Federation’s Competition Committee, and that he’s been handed an additional two-match ban due to his actions as he left the field. Ronaldo was sent off last Sunday for hitting Bilbao midfielder Ander Iturraspe and then as Ronaldo walked off the field, he slapped his hand to his face, which the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) believed was dissent to the officials.
The committee’s decision means that though Ronaldo is available to play against Atletico Madrid in the Copa Del Rey semifinals on Wednesday, he will miss the next three La Liga matches against Villarreal on Saturday, at Getafe on Feb. 16, and against Elche on Feb. 22.
Real Madrid are allowed to appeal the verdict. The red card was Ronaldo’s first received since January 2010. So far this season, Ronaldo has scored 22 goals in 21 La Liga matches, and 32 goals in all competitions.
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ROBBEN NEARING BAYERN EXTENSION
Bayern Munich are interested in keeping Arjen Robben with the club well into the future.
Though he’s been injury-prone over the last two seasons, Robben and Bayern are in discussions currently to extend his contract through 2017, according to a report in German publication SportBild. The report states that his salary will be around €8 million per season.
“We are talking (with Bayern), but there still needs to be at least another meeting,” Robben’s father Hans Robben told SportBild.
Robben returned to the field in late January after missing nearly two months with a knee injury and even scored a goal in Bayern’s 5-0 thrashing of Eintracht Frankfurt. This season, Robben has played 22 games in all competitions, scoring 14 goals.
FALCAO INCLUDED ON COLOMBIA’S 30-MAN PRE-WORLD CUP SQUAD
Colombia manager Jose Pekerman is banking on Radamel Falcao making a miraculous recovery from injury to play in the 2014 World Cup.
According to reports in South America, Pekerman has included Falcao on his 30-man pre-World Cup roster. Pekerman has until early June to whittle the squad down to the 23-man version that will compete in Brazil this summer.
Falcao suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament on Jan. 22, though the doctor who operated on him gave the AS Monaco forward a 50 percent chance of being fit for the World Cup. Pekerman decided against scheduling a friendly match on March 5, the last FIFA date before the World Cup squads will be decided, because he reportedly doesn’t want to lose another player to injury.
Just one week after returning from a two-month layoff, Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels is set for a two-week spell on the sidelines after injuring his foot in a friendly match on Tuesday. (REPORT)
Swansea City have sacked manager Michael Laudrup and promoted Garry Monk to interim head coach. (REPORT)
League One club Sheffield United shocked Fulham, 1-0 after extra time at Craven Cottage to advance in the FA Cup. (REPORT)
Argentine side Boca Juniors have acquired Sevilla midfielder Diego Perotti on loan for six months. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you agree with Ronaldo’s suspension? Think he should have had the red card rescinded? Do you see Robben remaining at Bayern until he retires?
Share your thoughts below.