Ronaldinho Gaucho

Friday, February 03, 2006

Ronaldinho sees red, Barca out

Ronaldinho was red carded for Barcelona as the Catalan club were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Real Zaragoza.

The Brazilian playmaker was dismissed after 39 minutes for lashing out at Ruben Cani in the second leg of their Spanish Cup quarter-final meeting. Barcelona were trying to overturn a 4-2 deficit and, despite winning 2-1 on the night, lost 5-4 on aggregate.

Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard, however, remained positive despite the loss which cost them a semi-final clash with Real Madrid. The Dutchman saw a plus point from not having to play a tough semi-final against Real just before meeting Chelsea in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Barca play the first leg against Chelsea on Feb 22, while the Cup semi-finals are due to be played on Feb 8 and Feb 15. “Now we’ll have more time to prepare really well for the Chelsea game,” he added.

Rijkaard refused to be drawn into criticising the referee who harshly showed Ronaldinho a straight red card in the 39th minute for a tackle on Cani. He said: “If we had scored two more goals no one would have talked about the referee. We can’t complain because it is far too easy to do that.”

The other semi-final pitches Espanyol against Deportivo Coruna, who ran out 2-1 aggregate winners over Valencia on Wednesday.


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