Zinedine Zidane has not completely given up hope of Cristiano Ronaldo taking to the field when Real Madrid host Barcelona in the second leg of the Supercopa de Espana.
Ronaldo was hit with a five-match ban by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) after he pushed referee Ricardo de Burgos in the aftermath of being sent off in Sunday's opening leg.
Madrid will present their appeal case to the governing body on Wednesday morning, with Barca visiting the Santiago Bernabeu in the hope of overturning a 3-1 deficit that evening.
Zidane has studiously avoided being dragged into El Clasico politics since succeeding Rafael Benitez as Madrid Boss but told a pre-match news conference "something is up" with the punishment meted out to Ronaldo, who was booked for removing his shirt in celebration of a stunning goal and dismissed for simulation.
Asked whether there was a sense of external forces in Spanish football conspiring against Ronaldo, who is currently the subject of a legal case regarding alleged tax fraud , Zidane added: "I don't know.
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