Although a five-match ban might sound like a lot, Cristiano Ronaldo has still fared better than the likes of Eric Cantona and Luis Suarez.
Cristiano Ronaldo is set to miss five matches at the start of the 2017-18 season, but the Real Madrid superstar has escaped relatively lightly compared to some of the bans handed out to football’s most famous bad boys.
Ronaldo came off the bench to score in a 3-1 Supercopa de Espana victory against Barcelona at Camp Nou on Sunday, picking up a yellow card for removing his shirt in celebration and then a second booking for simulation, before pushing the referee.
The 32-year-old striker has 10 business days in which to appeal, but, should the sanction stand, he will miss the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, followed by LaLiga games against Deportivo La Coruna, Valencia, Levante and Real Sociedad.
If the Portugal international considers himself hard done by, perhaps he should revisit some of the other hefty suspensions imposed for on-field misbehaviour…
Eric Cantona (1995) – Nine months
The Manchester United talisman narrowly avoided a custodial sentence and endured a lengthy enforced absence from competitive action for his spectacular, kung-fu kick assault on spectator Matthew Simmons after being sent off against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in 1995.
Paolo Di Canio (1998) – 11 matches
After being sent off while playing for Sheffield Wednesday against Arsenal in September 1998, mercurial Italian striker Di Canio pushed referee Paul Alcock, who subsequently stumbled to the floor in comic fashion.
Luis Suarez (2010) – Seven matches
During his time at Ajax, Suarez received a seven-match ban from the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) for biting PSV’s Otman Bakkal.
Luis Suarez (2011) – Eight matches
The Uruguay international was sanctioned by the Football Association after being accused of racially abusing Patrice Evra in a match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in October 2011.
Joey Barton (2012) – 12 matches
Up against his former club Manchester City, QPR’s Barton saw red for elbowing Carlos Tevez and then lashed out at Sergio Aguero and squared up to Vincent Kompany as he left the pitch, the FA taking a particularly dim view of those antics.
Luis Suarez (2013) – 10 matches
Suarez incurred the wrath of the FA again, this time earning a 10-game ban for appearing to bite Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic at Stamford Bridge in April 2013.
Luis Suarez (2014) – Four months
This time it was FIFA who came down hard on Suarez, imposing a four-month ban from any football activity and a nine-game international suspension, after the striker sunk his teeth into Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup in Brazil. That did not stop Barcelona from splashing the cash to lure the marksman away from Anfield.