A decision on Cristiano Ronaldo’s suspension appeal by Real Madrid is expected to be handed down on Friday and manager Carlo Ancelotti is hopeful the striker will play against Elche on Saturday.
The Portuguese player was shown the red in a game against Athletic Bilbao on February 2 after grabbing defender Carlos Gurpegui in the face and confronting midfielder Ander Iturraspe with 15 minutes left in the game.
Following the red Cristiano Ronaldo was banned for one match for violent conduct and received an extra two games’ suspension for a disrespectful gesture towards the ref while leaving the field.
The Real Madrid have already played without their star against Villarreal, Getafe, but Ancelotti is hoping ot have him against Elche (which is part of the suspension) on Saturday.
Real argued the three-game suspension was unwarranted and Cristiano Ronaldo was provoked by the Athletic players and has been appealing ever since.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been suspended 3 La Liga games for a red card received & mocking an official on Sunday. » pic.twitter.com/15iorIddo2
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 5, 2014
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cr7Prince4ever) February 3, 2014
If Cristiano Ronaldo's suspension is reduced, then BBC will start against Elche tomorrow. (marca) pic.twitter.com/0eoBxAE6ZU
— TCRF (@TheCRonaldoFan) February 21, 2014
Cristiano Ronaldo was allowed to play in the Copa del Rey semifinal and will face Barcelona in the final on April 16 after talks between the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and the two finalists. The match had originally been planned for Saturday April 19.
Ancelotti was happy with the decision to move the match to Wednesday:
“I think it is good to play the Copa del Rey final on a Wednesday. It’s a good day for a final.”
The Copa del Rey final promises to be one of the most contended matches of the season as it will pitch Cristiano Ronaldo against his nemesis Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo was the winner of the Ballon d’Or earlier this year, with Messi — who had won the four previous years — the runner up.
Their rivalry is epic and the final will become yet another way in which these two players — the best of our times — will prolong their reign at the top of the soccer world.
Despite his two game absence Cristiano Ronaldo tops La Liga with 22 goals for Real Madrid and is hoping to continue playing at this level later in the year when he puts on Portugal’s jersey at the World Cup in Brazil.