May 25, 2013
Ronaldo defends Mourinho, appeals for unity
Cristiano Ronaldo has pleaded with Real Madrid fans to get off Jose Mourinho's back and to support the team after a couple of jittery home performances where their coach has been whistled by sections of the Bernabeu.
The Portugal forward has deflected attention away from his embattled compatriot with outstanding displays, scoring twice against Real Sociedad in La Liga on Sunday and a hat-trick in the King's Cup against Celta Vigo on Wednesday.
Real's top scorer, with 174 goals from 172 appearances and the runner up to Lionel Messi in Monday's World Player of the Year awards, is, however, suspended for their next game away at Osasuna in La Liga on Saturday (1900 GMT).
"I have to ask that they (the fans) stop this now," Ronaldo told reporters after their 5-2 aggregate victory set up a Cup quarter-final with Valencia.
"The boss is going to stay, we still have a lot we can win this year. He is in charge and he takes the decisions, the fans and the players should help him.
"People have shown they are unhappy but that's enough now. They have to get behind the boss and the team. It affects the players out on the pitch. If we win the Cup and the Champions League it will have been a good year."
Real have struggled to replicate the dynamic attacking football that won them the league title in record-breaking style last season and they have slipped 16 points behind arch-rivals and leaders Barcelona in the standings.
The inconsistent performances combined with Mourinho's confrontational style, hints that he may leave, and the recent decision to drop captain and fan-favourite Iker Casillas have alienated sections of Madrid's more traditional supporter base.