Spanish federation maintains 5-match suspension for Ronaldo

"This group wants to go on winning trophies and I'm enjoying watching it".

The Frenchman required one touch to set the ball and another to drill it into the bottom corner, giving Los Blancos plenty of breathing space with a quarter of the two-legged tie still to play.

Gaggioli said that in the summer of 2014 Barca refused to pay the 4.5 million euros Mallorca were asking for Asensio up front, preferring to pay in two installments, leaving Madrid to snap him up later in the year for a reported 3.9 million euros.

In response to the ban, Ronaldo posted a picture on Instagram with a message in his native Portuguese, which when translated, reads: "Impossible to be immune to this situation, 5 games!" He has also been fined €3,805 (£3,459), with Real fined €1,750 (£1,590).

As expected, or may be not so much, Real Madrid won the Super Cup after dominating play.

Ronaldo has appealed the five-game ban, to no avail. "It's obvious that we have to recover our spirit quickly".

But fear not, Barcelona fans, because Paulinho is coming in to sort out all your problems. We prepared for that and on the 8th we competed very well, we played very well and won showing our personality.

But in spite of that, Ronaldo has been deeply unimpressed with the fact that the authorities had the temerity to enforce the rules in relation to the push. "This is a great way to start, everyone is content. We are going into a long season, but we are ready".

He also seemed to refer to the Neymar transfer saga that dominated Barcelona's US tour, adding: "Things have happened in the pre-season that have not helped us but there is no alternative but to keep going".

Last season, a brilliant display of attacking and defensive football helped them emerge as Spanish and European champions.

Indeed, it was Karim Benzema who effectively ended the contest as early as the 38th minute when the French striker pounced with a close-range snapshot... Yet compared to former target Marco Verratti, Paulinho comes off significantly worse, and there is little to suggest he can solve any of the Catalans' pressing issues.