Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel disgraced himself towards the end of last month’s 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester United when he stamped on the leg on Red Devils goalkeeper David de Gea.
The FA punished Skrtel by slapping him with a three-game ban, which was upheld despite the player lodging an appeal.
However, Liverpool indirectly rewarded their centre-back for his display of mindless aggression. Reds manager Brendan Rodgers allowed the 30-year-old to take an extended holiday with his family.
Skrtel is quoted in the Daily Star as saying: “When I learned that I would not play three games, I asked Mr Rodgers for a few more days off to spend more time with my family in Slovakia. I was very happy that he agreed.
Trying to justify the gesture, Skrtel added: “I wasn’t sitting on my butt for eight days. I was in a gym every day and I did my best to come to England in good condition.”
Skrtel has played 45 games for Liverpool and Slovakia this season, picking up 10 yellow cards in the process.
His suspension for stamping on De Gea has seen him miss games against Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers, as well as Monday night’s clash with Newcastle United.
He will return in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa. The winner of that match will play either Arsenal and Reading in the final.
Relive Srktel’s nasty stamp by watching the video below…