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Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo has bitterly criticized his five-game suspension for pushing a referee who had sent him off, describing the ban as “persecution.”

Ronaldo wrote on his Instagram account on Wednesday that “it is impossible to remain silent in this situation, 5 games!! It seems exaggerated and ridiculous to me, this is called persecution!”

Ronaldo’s outburst came after the Spanish soccer federation ratified his suspension, which was announced on Monday.

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