Following Real Madrid’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of derby rivals Atletico Madrid over the weekend, thus effectively handing the La Liga title to Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo has thrown the rattle from the cot in true prima donna fashion.
Speaking to Marca reporters after the defeat, Ronaldo lamented the injuries of Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema and then went on to explain how the side wouldn’t be in the position they are if they were as good as him. Classy!
“I don’t want to put anybody down, none of my teammates, but when the best players aren’t all present it is difficult to win,” he said.
“I like to play alongside Pepe, Karim [Benzema], [Gareth] Bale and Marcelo… I am not saying that Jesé, Lucas [Vázquez], and [Mateo] Kovacic aren’t any good, they are very good, but all the same…”
Ronaldo also pointed out how reporters are eager to criticise him at a moment’s notice but that it doesn’t effect him as his statistics and record speak for themselves.
“If they were all as good as me, we’d be top. Each year, if you believe the press, it looks as if I am crap, but the numbers and stats don’t add up to that.”
Although this will likely be regarded as a slap in the face by his Madrid teammates, Ronaldo, in a second interview with Marca, stated that in fact he was not any better than them.
“When I say that, I am talking about my fitness level, not my level as a player. I am no better than any of my teammates,” he subsequently told the Spanish newspaper.
One would imagine as Zinedine Zidane looks to turn his side’s fortunes around and mount something of a comeback against likely title winners, Barca, that he will want unity and team spirit to be rock solid, so Ronaldo’s original comments will not be one bit helpful to the manager.
For a man who should be a leader of the side, Ronaldo has certainly gone and alienated himself from the team and one would imagine there is still some humble pie to tuck into before he is forgiven.
With any lucky those who have the ear of the Portuguese goalscoring machine might advise that he keeps quiet, scores goals and wins matches.
For the rest of us however, it is certainly amusing when one of the world greats has such a public case of foot in mouth.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena