Saturday 24 February 2018

Real Madrid supporters are 'hurting' Cristiano Ronaldo by booing him, says team-mate

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo. REUTERS/Susana Vera
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo. REUTERS/Susana Vera

Mark Critchley

Boos and whistles from Real Madrid’s supporters are ‘hurting’ Cristiano Ronaldo, according to his team-mate Keylor Navas.

The Portugal international was heckled by sections of the Santiago Bernabeu during the opening stages of Madrid’s 3-0 La Liga win over Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Television footage subsequently appeared to show Ronaldo responding in kind by mouthing an offensive Spanish phrase towards those in the stands.

Navas has now revealed that, while Ronaldo retains great affection for Madridistas, the criticism he receives from his own supporters affects him.

"What Cristiano tells us, and what he says to [Sergio] Ramos, the skipper, is that he loves all the fans,” he told Cadena Ser, in quotes reported by ESPN.

"It hurts him that they whistle him, but he knows the [majority of the] fans support him.

“He always tries to help the team with goals. He is committed to this club and wants to win trophies, as we all do, to make our fans happy.”

Ronaldo responded to the jeers by scoring once and registering an assist in Sunday’s win over Real Sociedad and after the game, former Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas defend his old team-mate.

Despite being a homegrown talent who went on to make 725 appearances for the club, Casillas himself was booed by the Bernabeu, particularly during the 2014/15 season, his final year.

“As a Madridista, sometimes you don't understand why it can happen,” the 35-year-old, now playing for Porto, said.

“Six months ago Madrid were European champions, one month ago they were world champions. He [Ronaldo] has just won the trophy as the world's best player…

“If he scores two or three goals a game, that is just what he is supposed to do. It is madness. You must help him -have people around him and the club who help to protect the players. He must continue trying to be the player he is, the best in the world.”

Independent News Service

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