Superstar brands ex-Liverpool playmaker ‘cheat’

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Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed that ex-Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano is a cheat, after the Barcelona midfielder appeared to dive in a tackle in the Champions League semi final.

"Javier Mascherano wasn't like this at Liverpool," Ronaldo said.

"He must have learned all these cheating tricks at Barcelona."

Mascherano was challenged by Real Madrid's Lassana Diarra in the second half, and while he rolled around the floor in pain, he appeared to glance at the referee to catch a reaction.


After Diarra was booked, Mascherano quickly found his feet and played on.

Mascherano moved from Liverpool to the Barcelona in 2010, after making 94 appearances for the Anfield club.

Ronaldo faced Mascherano when Liverpool played Manchester United a number of times in the three years that the Argentinian was at the Kop, and Ronaldo never citied any problems with his rival during that time.

Ronaldo has continued to stoke the fire of the El Clasico saga, making claims that Real Madrid could have won the Champions League tie if Barcelona hadn’t had help from the referees.

“We knew we could beat Barca, but the referee didn't let us,” the former Manchester United star said.

“Once again it was the referee that didn't allow us to dictate the outcome.

“The referee in the first match (Wolfgang Stark) took away our chances of playing the final. Whoever knows anything about football knows that Barcelona get preferential treatment.

“Barcelona are a difficult team to beat because they get outside help. Next year they should give the cup directly to them.’

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