Cristiano Ronaldo has sparked a storm of criticism for condemning the referee who awarded three penalties in Barcelona’s dramatic win over Real Madrid.
Ronaldo said after the 4-3 Clasico defeat on Sunday night that referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco made “unbelievable” decisions and that unnamed forces wanted Barcelona in the title race.
Barcelona players said the comments by the world player of the year were unjustified. Sport newspaper called Ronaldo a “cry baby”.
Lionel Messi scored three goals, two from penalties, in one of the most dramatic matches between the arch-rivals. The result took Barcelona just one point behind Real and Atletico Madrid at the top of the Spanish table.
Mallenco gave Madrid defender Sergio Ramos the 19th red card of his career and Ronaldo, who scored from a controversial penalty himself, blasted the referee.
“The decisions that the referee took, for me it was unbelievable,” the Portuguese striker said.
“It makes you think that maybe they don’t want Madrid to win this league. Or they don’t want to completely rule out Barca, because if Barca had lost today they would have been dead.”
“There were a lot of mistakes for just one game. A match between Real and Barca ought to have a high level of referee,” added Ronaldo.
“You can’t make correct decisions when you are nervous. It makes me think that it is not just on the field that you win games, a little help from outside helps too.
“My penalty might have been just outside the area, but there are many things that went on. It is difficult when many people didn’t want us to win today.”
Barcelona’s Xavi Hernandez said Ronaldo had “spoken too soon” and that the referee had been “fair”. Gerard Pique also called on Ronaldo to stop “complaining”.
Marca newspaper commentator Roberto Palomar said Ronaldo “ended up spewing stupidities in the press room. He can be forgiven for being who he is.”
“As usual when they lose, Real Madrid’s worst image returned,” said Barcelona newspaper Sport. Ronaldo’s criticism “showed once again that, when things don’t go the way he wants, the arrogant, ill-humoured Cristiano reappears.”