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Barcelona suffer Neymar blow ahead of El Clasico

NEYMAR’S HOPES OF playing in the Clasico against Real Madrid are over after the Barcelona forward received a three-match suspension for applauding referee Gil Manzano against Malaga.

The Brazilian forward was sent off at the Rosaleda for a second bookable offence, a punishment that carries an automatic sanction of one match.

However, Gil Manzano reported Neymar after the match for ironically clapping his decision as he left the field.

And on Tuesday, the Spanish Football Federation’s Competitions Committee confirmed that on top of the original ban, the player would miss an additional two games for dissent against the match official.

Neymar as a result will be on the sidelines on Sunday evening El Clasico match at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The news is a heavy blow for the Catalans, who must win against Real Madrid to keep alive their hopes of coming back to retain La Liga.

Barca currently trail Madrid by three points, with Zinedine Zidane’s men holding an additional game in hand over their rivals.

The final game of Neymar’s suspension comes on April 26, when the Blaugrana host Osasuna.