Cristiano Ronaldo might be the all-time top scorer in European club competitions after his brace against Schalke but he left the Santiago Bernabeu angry at Real Madrid’s dreadful form and vowing not to talk publicly again until the end of the season.
Team-mate Gareth Bale was no happier after the crowd booed him in the 4-3 defeat by Roberto Di Matteo’s side. The Manchester United target was once again targeted by supporters along with coach Carlo Ancelotti and goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
‘I wont talk again until the end of the season,’ Ronaldo told reporters.
Ancelotti had earlier defended his top scorer, saying: ‘He scored two very important goals but the rest were not at his level’. But Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure after Madrid narrowly escaped elimination despite his two goals.
Ronaldo notched up his 77th and 78th goals in Europe and put himself above former Real Madrid team-mate Raul and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
The Portuguese international is also level with Messi as the joint record all-time goalscorer in the Champions League proper – with 75 goals apiece in Europe’s elite competition.
But none of that seemed to matter as he left the Bernabeu just before midnight. He turned and shouted at his team-mates after scoring his first goal in an attempt to wake them from their stupor but needed to score again just before half time as Schalke went in front for the second time.
Ronaldo looked less than pleased as he left the field to jeers and whistles after 90 minutes and his vow of silence will raise concerns that once again the club’s most important player is unsettled.
His brace came two days after 30 per cent of a poll of supporters on AS.com voted that he should be dropped from the side. A third of around 3,000 supporters answering the poll said they believed if Real Madrid broke up their ‘BBC’ Bale, Benzema, Cristiano front three, Ronaldo should be the man to make way.
Bale came out top in the poll asking which of their forward line Real Madrid coach Anclelotti should sacrifice as he looks to find more stability. And he was whistled again at the Bernabeu as he extended his run of games without a goal to nine matches.
Real Madrid have not won any of their last three games and face Barcelona in 10 days time desperately out of sorts. Long term injuries to Sergio Ramos, James Rodriguez and Luka Modric have helped unsettle the team that won the World Club Cup in December but supporters have cut Ancelotti no slack despite those absentees and the finger of blame has been pointed at him and the key players he has stood behind.
The former Chelsea manager was even asked if he would be surprised if he was sacked after the performance.
He said he was just concentrating on doing his job and apologised for the display: ‘It was bad for the image of the club,’ he said.
‘The reaction of the crowd was totally justifiable but it will serve to wake us up. I still believe in the team because I know what they can give but at the moment they are not giving it. We are playing very badly. We need to train more, work more, we need more of everything.’
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