Alvaro Arbeloa insists he is not upset with his teammate Cristiano Ronaldo after the three-time Ballon d’Or winner reacted angrily to a goal scored by the Real Madrid defender against Almeria on Wednesday night.
Ronaldo, not for the first time this season, looked visibly annoyed after failing to get the crucial touch resulting in the goal.
Arbeloa narrowly beat the Portuguese superstar to the ball to score his first league goal for seven years, but the perturbed Ronaldo failed to celebrate with the former Spain international.
"I'm not upset about Ronaldo's reaction after my goal," Arbeloa told reporters, according to Goal. "It just shows you his ambition to score. No one can be upset about that. He's fighting with Leo Messi for the Pichichi."
Ronaldo may have felt under extra pressure to score after Real Madrid’s second goal was taken away from him. Instead it went down as a Mauro dos Santos own goal.
Messi closing in on Ronaldo's tally
Furthermore, Lionel Messi scored twice in a 6-0 win over Getafe the night before, meaning the Argentina international is now just one goal behind Ronaldo in the race for the Pichichi with four matches left to play.
Real Madrid have what looks to be, on paper at least, a tougher end to the season than Barcelona with games against the likes of Sevilla and Valencia remaining.
This means there’s every chance Messi will finish the 2014-15 La Liga campaign with more league goals than Real Madrid’s No. 7 - an outcome that looked implausible midway through the season.
With Ronaldo there’s a fine line between ambition and selfishness. His relentless desire to be the best, the match winner in every game, while clearly one of his great strengths also has a tendency to rub people up the wrong way.
Would Real Madrid be better off without him?
Football is - and always will be - a team sport, and several ex-professionals even feel Real Madrid would be better off without the “Messi-obsessed” goal machine in their squad.
"You can never get angry because a team-mate has scored and not celebrating is to commit suicide as a team-mate,” Barcelona legend Hristo Stoichkov told Sportium after an incident involving Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, “because then you are worth nothing and you are worth nothing to your team.”
But those who play alongside Ronaldo appear to accept his unusual characteristics because of his immense quality.
“It is difficult to be Cristiano and he has been performing at a very high level for a number of years,” Sergio Ramos was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail in March. “He knows himself better than anyone, he has a very competitive character and we are not worried if he didn't score if Bale subsequently did.
“We have to appreciate what he brings to the team.”
Would Real Madrid work better as a team without Cristiano Ronaldo? Have your say in the comments below!