Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to Instagram to defend himself and his Real Madrid team-mates after they got the new La Liga season under way with a less than inspiring 0-0 draw against Sporting Gijon last night.
The first game of Rafa Benitez's spell in charge at the Bernabeu didn't go to plan as the likes of Ronaldo and Gareth Bale fired a blank to leave Madrid with just a point, after Barcelona had taken all three with a 1-0 win against Athletic Bilbao.
Ronaldo performed solidly throughout and could have had a penalty but his appeal was turned down - and now he's publicly defended himself and his team-mates on Instagram.
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Immediately after the game last night, the former Manchester United man posted a picture on the social site which contained the message: "Your love makes me strong, your hate makes me unstoppable"
So far the post has received more than 630,000 likes and garnered almost 13,000 comments.
Atletico Madrid also won on the opening day of the season to put the early pressure on Benitez, who was a surprise choice to replace Carlo Ancelotti, who was handed his marching orders despite helping the Spanish club win a record tenth European crown, earlier this summer.
Despite being held to a goalless draw against their newly-promoted opponents, Benitez says he is still confident for the season ahead, although conceded his side must work harder.
"I knew it was going to be a game that Sporting would make difficult for us," he said. "We needed to be rapid and precise. There were a lot of shots without precision. In the first half we gave Sporting their chances. There must be more work done."
Will Rafa Benitez still be in charge of Real Madrid at the end of the season?
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