Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo thinks his two-match suspension for Sunday's red card against Malaga is excessive and is confident the club's appeal will succeed.
Ronaldo scored both goals in the 2-0 win at the Bernabeu but was shown a straight red card in the 70th minute after catching defender Patrick Mtiliga with a flailing arm and breaking his nose.
The Spanish football federation (RFEF) said on Tuesday that the Portugal forward had been suspended and fined €600 (£520).
If Real's attempts to get the ban reversed, reduced or postponed are unsuccessful he will miss Saturday's trip to Deportivo La Coruña and the home game against Espanyol the following weekend.
"I wasn't impressed [about the suspension], of course," Ronaldo said yesterday. I sincerely believe the punishment is excessive," he added. "I am confident in the appeal the club is going to lodge and that the punishment will be reduced."
The RFEF's disciplinary committee decided Ronaldo's actions were not wilful or reckless, which would have meant a longer suspension, but that he had been guilty of dangerous play. The Portuguese had earlier blamed Mtiliga's height for the clash. "I didn't mean to injure the lad," Ronaldo said. "It was bad luck to hit him on the nose because he's only 1.70m and if he had been taller I would have hit his chest."
It was his second dismissal of the season following his sending-off against Almeria in December for kicking out at an opponent after he had earlier been booked for taking off his shirt in a goal celebration.
Javier Lopez Farre, Real's legal director, said if the appeal to the RFEF was unsuccessful they would take the case to Spain's Sporting Disciplinary Committee (CEDD), a body overseen by the government sports council.
"Of course, we would then ask for a postponement [of the ban]," he said. "If the player completes the suspension then it won't help us at all."
Real presented evidence to the RFEF disciplinary committee which included video of an incident earlier this month involving Barcelona forward Lionel Messi trying to shake off an opponent who was holding him back. Messi was awarded a free-kick and Real claimed the incident supported their case for Ronaldo's card to be reversed. The committee ruled, however, that as the referee had not mentioned the Messi incident in his match report it was not relevant and, in any case, no injury had been caused.