For an individual so wholly focused on playing football and breaking record after record, a suspension is the worst possible punishment, so it is little surprise that international duty has proven to be the best medicine for Cristiano Ronaldo .
His altercation with an official during the Supercopa de Espana clash against Barcelona was always likely to be met with a serious response from the governing body and Los Blancos have been forced to plan without their talisman for the beginning of the season.
The suspension has only been valid within the jurisdiction of the Spanish football association which has allowed Ronaldo to represent Portugal during the international break.
There are still two matches left on the 32-year-old’s five-game suspension, but being able to stay match fit will do both the forward and Zinedine Zidane the world of good.
It is a well known fact that the French coach’s first full season in charge at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu saw a brand new attitude towards Los Blancos’ iconic star.
Gone are the days of Ronaldo being played in every single match, only for his body to fail him as the campaign reached its defining moment.
Zidane set up a specific plan to ensure the Portuguese rested his body when necessary, in order to keep him fresh.
The 2016/17 season saw this work to perfection with the former Manchester United forward actually hitting his best form as the Champions League quarter-finals began.
His participation in the Confederations Cup, combined with new births in the family, shortened Ronaldo’s pre-season.
He was to be gradually introduced into the first-team with minutes coming in short spurts, as was proven by his substitute appearances against both Manchester United and Barcelona before the ban.
A hat-trick against the Faroe Islands has done Ronaldo’s morale the world of good as did his captain’s display against Hungary, Portugal ensuring their progression to the World Cup in Russia depends solely on their own performances.
Playing football is the perfect therapy for the Madeira born goalscorer although its impact may only be temporary as he returns to the stands for Saturday’s clash against Levante.