Report: Cristiano Ronaldo apologises to Real Madrid teammates after publicly criticising squad
According to reports in Spanish publication El Mundo, Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has apologised to his teammates after publicly blaming them for the 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid in the derby on Saturday. The loss left Los Blancos 12 points adrift of title leaders Barcelona with almost no hope of catching up to the Catalan club who are undefeated in 34 games.
“If everyone was as good as me, maybe we would be first,” Ronaldo said. “If a team does not play with the best is difficult to win a long competition. I don't want to insult anyone.
“I do like playing with Karim [Benzema], with [Gareth] Bale, Marcelo, I am not saying that others are not good. For example, Danilo has today been the best on the pitch.”
He had also questioned the quality of squad players such as Lucas Vazquez, Jese and Mateo Kovacic. The statements invited a lot of flak from the fans and media alike and Ronaldo had to soon clarify his statement and claimed he did not mean to demean his teammates.
“My comments were misinterpreted after the game,” Ronaldo said. “I wasn't saying that I'm better than everyone else. I was referring to injuries. The team have lost a lot of important players through injury like Pepe, Bale, Benzema, Marcelo. That has harmed us and prevented us from reaching our usual level.
“I have the utmost respect for my teammates and I'd never want to offend them. I don't consider myself better than anyone.”
Ronaldo reportedly apologises to team on WhatsApp
According to the report, Ronaldo contacted his teammates via WhatsApp and apologised to them.
He felt the need to talk to the teammates who were upset with his comments.
It is understood that Ronaldo was also planning to apologise to the squad when they train on Monday.
Ronaldo is free to offer his opinion: Ramos
While some players took offence to Ronaldo’s comments, Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos defended Ronaldo’s comments.
“We are proud of everyone that is part of the squad and the work of all the players that get fewer minutes on the field,” Ramos said.
“Players like Lucas Vazquez, Jese Rodriguez or Borja Mayoral are giving everything because they know how hard it is to get their chance here. But Cristiano is free to offer his opinion,” he concluded.