Brazilian and Barcelona forward Neymar has asked the Spanish football authorities to give stricter punishment to Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo for his violent conduct on the field of play against Cordoba.
Ronaldo was sent off after he kicked defender Edimar Fraga and slapped Jose Crespo during a Spanish La Liga encounter Saturday which Madrid won 2-1.
Ronaldo could escape with a two-match ban — given to every red card offender.
“It’s clear we cannot do that under any circumstances. He must be punished because of the aggression. It is difficult because sometimes there is provocation,” Neymar was quoted as saying by bbc.com.
Drawing comparison to Frenchman Zinedine Zidane’s infamous head-butt in the 2006 World Cup final and himself, Neymar said: ”It happened to Zinedine Zidane, it happened to me. Nobody has the coolness to remain calm 100 percent of the time. We must think with our heads. I think he should be punished.”
“Those of us playing as forwards are exposed to provocations and intimidation and sometimes you lose your nerve.”
“It is the referee’s responsibility to protect players on the pitch, particularly when they are targeted by hard challenges. Hard tackles must be punished,” added the 22-year-old.
After the sending off, the Portuguese star apologised for his aggressive behaviour on Twitter.