'Ronaldo always gets provoked' – Hugo Sanchez

The three-time Ballon d’Or winner has served a two-match ban for kicking out at Cordoba defender Edimar but has received the support of one of Real Madrid’s greatest players

Real Madrid great Hugo Sanchez says he completely understands Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent sending off in light of the persistent provocation he faces from opposition defenders.

The forward, who turned 30 on Thursday, was shown a red card for kicking out at Edimar in his side’s recent 2-1 victory over Cordoba, which saw him banned for two games.

Having served his punishment, Ronaldo will return for Madrid’s clash with city rivals Atletico on Saturday, but Sanchez has sympathised with his plight.

“It’s no wonder Ronaldo erupted, he is always kicked and provoked,” the Mexican said. “I understand it, but hopefully he has learned from the incident and doesn’t repeat it.”

Sanchez also offered his opinion on the forward line boasted by Madrid’s great rivals Barcelona and believes Luis Suarez is suffering the same problems experienced by Zlatan Ibrahimovic during his time at Camp Nou.

“Neymar has a style that is a problem for a lot of players and he deserves to be applauded not criticised,” he added.

“Messi remains their best player and their dangerman but I think Suarez is still adjusting to the system of Barcelona. He hasn’t coped well yet and suffered, just like what happened with Ibrahimovic.”

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