Real's Pepe cautioned after Messi stamp

Spain's football authority cautioned Real Madrid defender Pepe today after he stamped on the hand of Barcelona's striker Lionel Messi in a Copa del Rey clash last week.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation named Pepe on its list of players sanctioned for dangerous play in the Copa quarter-finals, along with three other Real players and Gerard Pique of Barcelona.

Television images of the 18 January game showed Pepe walking towards the referee, glancing down quickly at Messi, who was lying on the ground, and then stamping on his left hand with his boot.

The Portuguese defender apologised saying the stamp was accidental, fuelling criticism in the press which considered the apology unconvincing.

Real lost the first-leg cup match 2-1 at home and travel to Barcelona on Wednesday for the second leg. They sit five points clear of Barcelona at the top of the Spanish league.

The other Madrid players cautioned by the federation for dangerous play in Monday's list were Fabio Coentrao, Jose Maria Callejon and Ricardo Carvalho.