Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has announced he will not be speaking to the media for the rest of the season following Tuesday night’s shock 4-3 defeat to Schalke in the Champions League last 16.
The Portuguese forward, who netted twice against the German side at the Bernabeu, cut a visibly frustrated figure at the end of the match and refused to say anything to reporters - with the exception of one sentence.
Walking through the mixed zone after the match, Ronaldo was quoted by the Mirror as saying: “I’m not talking till the end of the season”.
Real Madrid fans angered
It seems the 30-year-old was in no mood to be quizzed about the problems currently facing Real Madrid, whose form has taken a nose-dive since the turn of the New Year.
The reigning European champions were extremely fortunate to advance to the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday evening - hanging on by the skin of their teeth to avoid one of the most humiliating knockouts in European Cup history - but that did not spare them from receiving a chorus of whistles from their own supporters at the full-time whistle.
The Bernabeu faithful waved their white handkerchiefs in unison to express their displeasure with their team’s surprisingly poor performance, as Real Madrid’s winless run stretched to three matches.
Ronaldo unimpressed with the team - and the fans?
It’s believed Ronaldo was similarly unimpressed with his side’s performance, but perhaps he was also angered by the crowd’s extreme reaction.
Real Madrid fans are famously demanding, but Ronaldo must have felt he had done all he could on the night, scoring a brace to take his tally to a remarkable 41 goals for the season.
Real Madrid better without Ronaldo?
There is a school of thought, however, that despite Ronaldo’s phenomenal goalscoring record the team flourishes better as a unit without him.
A recent poll by Spanish newspaper AS found that over 30 per cent of Real Madrid fans would drop Ronaldo, whose performances are often very individualistic and even a little selfish.
Some believe, including Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Terry Gibson, that Ronaldo is too focused on scoring goals himself, when he should be focused on helping his team win matches.
The three-time Ballon d’Or winner always wants to take centre stage, while he has reiterated his desire to become the best player of all time on several occasions.
Messi will always have the edge over Ronaldo
But in truth, there’s little chance he will end his career known as the best player of his generation, let along of all time.
While he will go down as an all-time great - and rightfully so - Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who is the early favourite to win the Ballon d’Or for a record-breaking fifth time in January, always seems to have the edge over his Real Madrid rival.
Are Real Madrid a better team without Ronaldo? Is he too selfish these days? And will he go down as a better player than Messi? Have your say on these issues in the comments below!