Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo says suggestions of a “crisis” are overblown after Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat to Tottenham, insisting offside goals have led to recent defeats.
The Champions League holders were convincingly beaten by Spurs at Wembley in the Champions League clash, with Ronaldo’s late goal a mere consolation after a Dele Alli double and a Christian Eriksen strike gave the home side the win.
The result came just three days after the Liga champions were beaten 2-1 by Girona, a result that saw them slip eight points adrift of league leaders Barcelona.
Zinedine Zidane insisted there was no reason to panic despite their first back-to-back defeats since January, and Ronaldo was eager to back his coach and feels they have been unlucky to concede illegal goals.
“We’re in a bad patch, we want to change it and that’s what we’ll do,” he told reporters.
“We’re at the start. It’s the ending that counts. There’s a lot of time to improve and I’m sure we can do it.
“Nothing has happened; they are bad spells. We can’t always be okay. We have to be calm – I don’t think the team is playing that badly.
“People try to look for things when you don’t win [but] the team looks confident to me. I speak, I show my face, I’m confident. We’re in a bad moment but things change. When you lose, things aren’t as you want them to be.
“You have to support your teammates. It was a real blow to lose 3-1 today, and in my opinion it’s not a fair reflection of what happened on the pitch, because their first goal was offside.
“It was the same in Girona, their second goal was offside.
“They’re things out of our control, but what we can control is our attitude, run hard, battle, and that’s not been lacking in either of the last two games.
“Things are what they are, you don’t have to hide them and you have to be positive. People forget the good things very quickly.
“It’s never a crisis. We can lose three or four games but it’s never a crisis. You can’t forget what we’ve done.”
There have been claims Madrid’s form this season has suffered due to a lack of options in the squad, with Pepe, Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez all having been allowed to leave in the transfer window.
Ronaldo believes a lack of experienced players is perhaps hampering their efforts but also highlighted injuries to the likes of Dani Carvajal and Gareth Bale as key problems.
“The players who came in have a lot of potential,” he said. “Pepe, Morata, James made us stronger but the guys now are younger.
“We’re also missing Carvajal, Bale… it’s not a worse squad but we have less experience and that’s very important. It’s not an excuse. We can’t give up.”
FIFA President, Infantino tests positive for COVID-19
FIFA Chief, Gianni Infantino has contracted coronavirus popularly known as COVID-19, the world’s football governing body announced on Tuesday.
According to the information scooped from AFP, the 50-year-old has mild symptoms and will remain in isolation for a further 10 days.
“All people who came into contact with the FIFA President during the last few days have been informed accordingly and they are being requested to take the necessary steps,” the body said.
“FIFA sincerely wishes President Infantino a speedy recovery,” it added.
Infantino’s last public appearances was at FIFA’s Compliance Summit which ended on October 16 when all attendees were present via video.
Cases, hospitalisations and deaths from Covid-19 in the body’s base, Switzerland, have doubled from one week to the next throughout October.
The country’s government is expected to decide Wednesday on new measures to control the spread of the virus.
The spread of the illness has cast doubt over Wednesday’s potential meeting between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the Champions League after the Juventus attacker tested positive for the illness earlier this month.
Barcelona: Real reason for Messi’s u-turn
“The president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I wanted to go or if I wanted to stay and in the end he didn’t end up keeping his word,” Messi said in an interview with Goal, released on Friday.
“I thought and we were sure that I was free. The president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I stayed or not and now they hold on to the fact that I did not say it before June 10 when it turns out that on June 10 we were competing for the league in the middle of this shitty virus and this disease that altered all the dates.”
Messi, 33, added: “And this is the reason why I am going to continue in the club… because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the 700-million-euro release clause.
“This is impossible, and then the other way was to go to trial. I would never go to court against Barca because it is the club that I love, that gave me everything since I arrived, it is the club of my life, I have made my life here.”
Messi had said he wanted to leave the club he joined as a boy after Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals in August.
His lawyers sent a burofax stating his intention to go for free on August 25 but Messi says he had made his feelings clear to Bartomeu many times before.
“I told the club, especially the president, that I wanted to go,” said Messi. “I’ve been telling him all year. I believed it was time to step aside.
‘Everything became difficult’
“I believed that the club needed more young people, new people and I thought my time in Barcelona was over, feeling very sorry because I always said that I wanted to finish my career here.
“It was a very difficult year, I suffered a lot in training, in games and in the dressing room. Everything became very difficult for me and there came a time when I considered looking for new goals, new horizons.
“It wasn’t because of the Champions League result against Bayern, I had been thinking about it for a long time. I told the president and the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I wanted to go or if I wanted to stay and in the end he did not end up keeping his word.”
Despite his unhappiness, Messi insists he will give his all for Barcelona next season under their new coach Ronald Koeman, with his current contract due to expire in June next year.
Messi set to quit Barcelona
Lionel Messi has informed Barcelona that he wants to “unilaterally” terminate his contract with the Spanish giants, a club source confirmed to AFP on Tuesday.
Lawyers for the Argentina star sent Barca a fax in which they announced Messi’s desire to rescind his contract by triggering a release clause.
However, the club maintains the clause expired in June and he remains under contract until the end of the 2021 season.
“In principial, this clause expired on June 10, but the unusual nature of this season disrupted by the coronavirus opened the way for Messi to ask to be released from his contract now,” wrote Spanish sports daily Marca.
“It’s the first step towards opening negotiations over his departure, on the basis of which his release clause amounts to 700 million euros.”
According to Spanish media, Messi met with new Barca coach Ronald Koeman last week and told the Dutchman he saw himself “more out than in” the club.
“The end of the glorious era of Leo Messi at Barcelona seems to be close. After the arrival of Ronald Koeman, what looks like the exit of his friend Luis Suarez and a difficult and turbulent end to the season, Messi told Barcelona in a fax of his intention to leave the club,” said Once radio station.
Barcelona suffered a humiliating 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals in Lisbon earlier this month, resulting in the dismissal of coach Quique Setien after barely six months in charge.
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