Madrid, Jan 15 (IANS) Real Madrid’s Uruguayan midfielder Fede Valverde has been slapped with a one-game ban for his sending off in the final of the Spanish Super Cup against Atletico Madrid on Sunday. He will miss next weekend’s La Liga game at home against Sevilla.
Valverde was given marching orders five minutes from the end of extra time in the game played in the King Abdullah Sports City in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah. With the score 0-0, Atletico striker Alvaro Morata was clean through on goal with only Real Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois to beat. But Valverde hacked him down cynically from behind outside of the penalty area with no option of playing the ball, Xinhua news reported.
Valverde’s so-called ‘professional foul’ turned out to be worthwhile as Atletico missed the resulting free kick and Real Madrid went on to win the Super Cup via penalty shoot-out.
The report of match referee Sanchez Martinez said that Valverde was “sent off for the following motive: Bringing down a rival impeding with that action a clear scoring opportunity.”
Valverde was later named Man of the Match for the final by a panel of experts, which surprised many commentators, who argued that making him Man of the Match was not sending out the right message of fair play.
However, Atletico coach Diego Simeone admitted in his post-game press conference that he would have done the same thing in the circumstances.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid will also be without Sergio Ramos in the weekend after the club captain twisted his ankle in Sunday’s game. Ramos is also likely to miss next Wednesday’s Copa del Rey away tie against third tier side Unionistas Salamanca.