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The five games Ronaldo will miss – and what it could mean for Madrid's season

Posted by Ezeudoye Samuel on August 14, 2017

The five games Ronaldo will miss – and what it could mean for Madrid's season

Cristiano Ronaldo's moment of madness in Real Madrid's 3-1 Supercopa de Espana first-leg victory over Barcelona on Sunday earned him a five-match ban.

The Portugal star learned his fate on Monday, having escaped a lengthier sanction following his shove on the referee after a late red card, as rules state he could have been suspended for up to 12 games.

With their leading man set to begin the season on the sidelines, we take a look at how Madrid's campaign could be affected by Ronaldo's absence.

August 16: Barcelona (home), Supercopa de Espana second leg

Having scored at Camp Nou to help Madrid take a two-goal cushion into the return leg, Ronaldo will have to hope his team can finish the job without him on Wednesday.

The red card alone – awarded for two yellows after a shirtless celebration was followed by an apparent dive – ensured he would miss this one, with the extra four games dished out as a result of the push on official Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea.

Zinedine Zidane's bid to build on his promising early record in Clasico encounters as a coach will be put to the test, with Ronaldo having also netted in the Frenchman's maiden derby outing in the dugout.

August 20: Deportivo La Coruna (away), LaLiga

This is arguably a match that should not concern Madrid, given that they won 6-2 at the Riazor last season while Ronaldo was afforded a rest.

However, given that two of the goalscorers that day – James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata – are no longer at the club, Zidane could face a more difficult task when it comes to building the attack just four days on from the Supercopa second leg.

Deportivo have strengthened well in the market, bringing in Guilherme from Udinese, Fabian Schar from Hoffenheim and securing shrewd loan deals for Adrian Lopez and Zakaria Bakkali, while there remains the possibility that Lucas Perez will return to the club from Arsenal.

History is certainly against them – they haven't beaten Madrid since August 2008 – but a shock is certainly not out of the question.

August 27: Valencia (home), LaLiga

Valencia were Madrid's penultimate opponents at home last season and it took an 86th-minute winner from Marcelo on that day to seal all three points, after Ronaldo had opened the scoring and then missed a penalty.

Marcelino's side had an encouraging pre-season and there is at last a sense of renewed optimism at Mestalla after years of club mismanagement and significant unrest among players and fans.

This would have been a good early test of Madrid's title credentials even with Ronaldo involved; without him, it looks like a difficult task.

September 9: Levante (home), LaLiga

Valencia's neighbours Levante are Madrid's first opponents following the international break and are, on paper at least, a much more straightfoward challenge.

Having won promotion last term, Juan Ramon Lopez Muniz's side face a tough start to life back in the top flight, with home games against Villarreal and Depor preceding trips to the Santiago Bernabeu and Mestalla.

Injuries and fatigue following the international matches will always be a concern, but Zidane is unlikely to have too many worries about a side Madrid have beaten nine times in a row.

September 17: Real Sociedad (away), LaLiga

San Sebastian is never an easy place for visitors to claim three points – something Barcelona know only too well – but Madrid's record against the Basque side is extremely strong.

Sociedad have only beaten them once since 2004 and lost both matches 3-0 last season, with Ronaldo only scoring one of Madrid's six goals.

Pre-season has not gone well for Eusebio Sacristan's side, either, and if results do not improve as LaLiga gets underway, they will likely fear the worst when Madrid come calling.

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