Cristiano Ronaldo has said that his five-match ban for pushing a referee is “exaggerated and ridiculous” and says that he is being persecuted after he failed to have the sanction overturned on appeal.

During last week’s 3 – 1 Spanish Super Cup first-leg victory over Barcelona, in which he scored, Ronaldo became angry after he was given a second yellow card for diving by match official Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea. He then proceeded to shove the official in the back.

A Spanish football federation committee rejected his appeal and as a result Ronaldo missed the second leg of the match on Wednesday. However, the team comfortably won 2 – 0 without his help.

Nonetheless, Ronaldo will be missing the team’s next four La Liga games against Deportivo La Coruna, Valencia, Levante and Real Sociedad.

Nao deixes que o mau comportamento de outros afecte a tua tranquilidade mental✌🏼🏆

Публикация от Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano)

Following the ruling Ronaldo reacted angrily on social media and on his official Instagram page he wrote, “Impossible to stay quiet with the situation. Five games! It seems to me exaggerated and ridiculous. This is called persecution. Thanks to my team-mates for the support.”

Real Madrid boss, Zinedine Zidane, also came to Ronaldo’s defence and called the second yellow card “ludicrous” after his team defeated Barcelona.

Speaking at the time he said, “I’m annoyed that Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off, it might not have been a penalty, but still, giving him a card is ludicrous. I am truly proud of my players, they played well as 10 and really wanted the win.”

It is unlikely that the team will be too worried about Ronaldo’s absence. They won all nine of their La Liga games without him last season. Tomorrow they face Deportivo and last season they defeated them 6 – 2 without Ronaldo’s help. Nonetheless, it is a frustrating way to begin their title defence.