Thursday January 11 2018
Matuzalem banned for ref slap

Former Napoli, Lazio, Genoa and Verona midfielder Francelino Matuzalem received a three-month ban for slapping a referee.

Now 37, he shows no signs of removing that reputation as a player who walked a fine line between gritty and downright violent.

He is currently playing for Serie D side Monterosi, but is barred from taking to the field until April 10 after a shocking incident.

Matuzalem was sent off during the derby with Flaminia Civita Castellana for a foul, but when the referee went to wave the red card, the player slapped it out of his hand.

The Brazilian also peppered the official with “insults and threats.”

Matuzalem was well-travelled in his career, playing for the likes of Napoli, Parma, Shakhtar Donetsk, Real Zaragoza, Genoa, Bologna, Verona and Miami FC.

He played 391 competitive games, earning 15 red cards.

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