Gurpegui: I did not try to get Ronaldo sent off

The experienced midfielder has stressed that it has not been an easy week for him after he faced criticism for his part in the Real Madrid star’s dismissal

Athletic Bilbao midfielder Carlos Gurpegui has insisted that he never intended to get Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo sent off during the Liga clash on February 2.

The veteran midfielder, 33, went to the ground after an altercation with the Portugal international, which led to referee Miguel Ayza’s decision to dismiss Ronaldo.

While a lot of the focus has been on the Portugal captain, Gurpegui has revealed that it has not been an easy week for him either after he came in for criticism for the manner in which he went to ground.

“Cristiano called out for a foul and I told him it was not a foul and I pushed him a little in the chest,” Gurpegui told Marca.

“That is when he touched my face and I fell. My reaction was to go to the ground, without any intention for the referee to send him off without previous provocation.

“The easy thing would have been for me to lie on the floor, but t I think I’m a noble person. I’m not the boy of 22 who tested positive [for a banned substance in 2003].

“I have a family and a daughter and it hurts me that things that are said about me come to their ears.

“I left the game satisfied to have held Real Madrid, but I was not aware of what was going to happen next.”

Ronaldo was handed a three-match ban following his red card and consequently missed this weekend’s 4-2 win over Villarreal.

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