Thursday 22 February 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo claims referee was 'pale' with nerves during El Clasico

Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates scoring his team's third goal as Cristiano Ronaldo looks dejected
Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates scoring his team's third goal as Cristiano Ronaldo looks dejected

Simon Rice

Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed the referee was “pale” with nerves after Real Madrid were beaten by Barcelona in a thrilling Clasico contest at the Bernabeu.

With the hosts seemingly in control at 3-2, referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco sent off Sergio Ramos and awarded two penalties that Lionel Messi converted.

It was a result that brings the Catalan side back into La Liga title contention, just one point behind the Madrid pair of Real and Atletico.

It was also a result that Ronaldo conspiratorially suggested will please "a lot of people".

"It is difficult because a lot of people did not want us to win and Barcelona would have been out of it," said the reigning Fifa Ballon d'Or holder.

"Maybe they don't want Real Madrid to win this Liga."

Ronaldo may struggle to have his complaint taken seriously considering he was awarded a penalty by the referee despite being fouled by Dani Alves outside the box. The former Manchester United player took the spot-kick to make the score 3-2, putting his side back in the lead after Karim Benzema gave Real an initial lead after Andres Iniesta had opened the scoring and Messi had scored to bring the game level at 2-2.

"We are sad because we knew we deserved more, but the fight goes on," Ronaldo said.

"We were 3-2 up and controlling the game. The referee made some unbelievable decisions, but you have to carry on.

"There were a lot of errors in one match. In a Real Madrid-Barcelona game you have to have a referee who is up to the game. In my opinion he was not up to a match of this stature.

"I looked at him and he was pale, that's because he was so nervous and he was unable to make the right decisions. A referee has to be relaxed in order to do as well as possible.

"It makes me think that matches are not only won on the pitch, but also with a little help off of it."

The result leaves Real in second place, joint on points with Atletico but behind on the head-to-head record with their near neighbours.

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