Sergio Ramos gave some insight into Cristiano Ronaldo’s thinking in an interview with Spanish radio station COPE.
It has long been the view that Ronaldo, winner of three Ballon d’Ors, has a ‘me first, team later’ attitude, and Ramos has approved that claim.
Ronaldo will miss Real Madrid’s upcoming game against Rayo Vallecano after suffering a muscle injury in the 3-0 win over Villarreal, leading Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane to state that the Portuguese star refused to be rested.
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And that, according to Ramos, is down to Ronaldo’s pursuit of individual success.
Los Blancos sealed all three points against Villarreal when Lucas Vazquez scored the second goal in the 69th minute. With the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie against Manchester City approaching, Zidane probably thought of subbing off Ronaldo.
But the determined winger stayed on the pitch and suffered an injury in the dying minutes.
There was no way Ronaldo would come off because “he doesn’t like to rest”, admitted Ramos.
Ramos: Ronaldo plays for individuals
“We know how important [Ronaldo] is for the team and we hope he arrives in good shape for the game against City,” Ramos said, per Football Espana.
“He is super-ambitious, wants to play every game and score goals even when he sleeps.
“I haven’t met a Coach who’s told him, ‘Cristiano, the bench’.
“It wouldn’t hurt if he rested from time to time, but he doesn’t like to rest when he’s playing for individual awards such as the Golden Boot.”
As well as competing with Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or, Ronaldo is currently locked in a head-to-head battle with Luis Suarez for the Pichichi.
The Barcelona striker trails Ronaldo by a single goal with four games remaining.
Individual honours vs. team success
The Portuguese star’s list of individual honours far outweighs his trophy haul at Real Madrid.
In six complete season’s at the Santiago Bernabeu, Ronaldo has won just one La Liga title. Yet two of his three Ballon d’Or awards arrived while at Madrid, and he’s on course to be crowned La Liga’s top goalscorer for the fourth time.
Ronaldo will do anything in his power to play every single game. Before Wednesday’s game, he had played every single minute of Madrid’s league games, and has started all 10 Champions League games.
And Zidane knows that his star player would be furious if he was ever replaced.
“With Cristiano, it is important to rest, but he always wants to play and do his best,” the Frenchman told Marca after the Villarreal game.
“Sometimes, for me, like today when he leaves the field, it is difficult. Let's see when he recovers.”
Ronaldo dodged a bullet with his latest injury and will be ready for Tuesday’s game against City.