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Soccer-'Batman' Illarramendi apologises after cow incident

Reuters

(Corrects spelling of Xabi Alonso in final paragraph)

MADRID, March 8 (Reuters) - Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi has apologised after a video was published on the internet that appeared to show him running in front of a horned cow dressed as Batman at a festival in his native Basque Country.

The grainy footage shows a number of people, including a masked figure in a cape local media said was Illarramendi, darting in front of the beast, although at no time did he seem to be in danger from its horns.

"We have an internal rule designed to prevent players going skiing and other dangerous things but I have never known it applied to bull fighting," a bemused-looking Carlo Ancelotti told a regular post-training news conference on Saturday.

"He has apologised and that's that," added the Italian coach. Local media said Illarramendi would be fined over the episode but did not say how much.

A Spain Under-21 international, Illarramendi, who turns 24 on Saturday, moved to Real Madrid from Real Sociedad in the close season as a long-term replacement for Xabi Alonso. (Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Clare Lovell)

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