Cristiano Ronaldo apologised to Real Madrid team-mates for outburst

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Cristiano Ronaldo would have had the whole of Sunday to think about what he did and, more importantly, decide his next step. The Real Madrid stalwart would have been facing a potential backlash from his team-mates after he criticised them following a 1-0 defeat to city rivals Atletico on Saturday.

It was seen as a desperate attempt to draw attention away from his own disappointing performance, throwing his teammates under the proverbial bus. However, in doing so, the spotlight landed directly on him.

"If all my team-mates were at my level, we might be first," he said in an interview that is already threatening to define a career plagued by accusations of chronic self-obsession. 

However, we can all live to regret the things we say in the heat of the moment and it seems as though Ronaldo has followed that well-trodden pathway. According to Goal, he took his teammates to one side during Monday's training session to explain his comments and apologise.

Having originally claimed that his words were taken out of context, the 31-year-old took full responsibility, saying he had "expressed himself poorly" and did not "wish to annoy any team-mates".

The response

Unlike Ronaldo, who seems easily wound up, it is reported that the response was fairly positive, with players appearing relaxed about the Portuguese's comments. Some were keen to play down their significance and had already moved on by the time an apology was offered.

But life will get no easier for Ronaldo and co. as they seek to salvage something from another disappointing season. They now have next to no chance of catching Barcelona in La Liga and may even drop down below Villarreal, who have impressively kept pace and sit just two points below them in fourth place.

Injury crisis

Karim Benzema added to Zinedine Zidane's woes by joining Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Gareth Bale on the injury list while Pepe is also a significant doubt for Wednesday's game against Levante.

The Frenchman, who has 19 goals this season, was taken off at half-time against Atletico with a hamstring problem and is set to miss the next three weeks. 

A Real Madrid statement said: "After tests, Karim Benzema has been diagnosed with a muscle injury to his right hamstring."

While he will be out for the return leg of their Champions League tie against Roma, Real Madrid are hoping to have him fit for the El Clasico against Barcelona on April 2.

For now, Real Madrid's stars will undergo a serious test of unity. They have little to play for in La Liga but must keep pace with Atletico if they want Zidane to remain their manager next season.

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Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo
Karim Benzema
La Liga
Real Madrid
Gareth Bale
Luka Modric

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