Arsenal game more important than Ronaldo, says Real chief
Real Madrid vice-president Emilio Butragueno says Tuesday's
Champions League first knockout round first leg tie with Arsenal is more
important than striker Ronaldo's disaffection with the club's fans.
"Personal matters are secondary because the match against Arsenal is like a
final and the team need to be completely focused on this," Butragueno told COPE
"The fans need to be going to the game with the idea they are going to support
the players and to create an atmosphere suitable for a night of European
Brazilian Ronaldo told a news conference on Monday that he had never felt loved
by Real's fans and that he would take this into account when considering his
future at the end of the season.
The player was whistled off the pitch by a section of the Bernabeu crowd when he
was substituted during the 3-0 Primera Liga win over Alaves on Saturday.
Former striker Butragueno, a Real favourite in the late 1980s and early 1990s,
said he too had suffered at the hands of the club's fickle supporters.
"Ronaldo does have the support of the fans," said Butragueno. "The fans backed
me in my time but when I played badly or didn't provide what the fans wanted
they whistled me as well." The Brazilian's comments drew a mixed response in the
media though everyone was united in criticising the player's timing ahead of the
In the sports daily AS, Alfredo Rellano said: "The complaint may have some
foundation but the timing is inopportune.
"It destabilises the team, turns the fans and gives Arsenal hope. Two goals
against Arsenal would start the healing process."
Manuel Saucedo, in the sports daily Marca, said: "It is true the Bernabeu have
never taken to the Brazilian because they have always had the sensation he never
gives his all for them.
"Ronaldo can make amends for his extreme egoism with effort and goals."