Ramos, Zidane differ over booing of Ronaldo

MADRID • Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has warned fans to "think" before they boo Cristiano Ronaldo, after the forward was jeered during their 2-0 Champions League last-16 second-leg victory over Roma on Tuesday.

Ronaldo grabbed one goal and set up another, as Real reached the quarter-finals with a 4-0 aggregate victory. But some sections of the Bernabeu crowd voiced their displeasure at the club's all-time leading scorer because he also missed a few scoring chances.

"They have to think about it a little bit," Ramos said. "I respect the opinion of the fans because their love is important but when the things don't go well, they have to support the players because we all want the best for Madrid.

"For me, it is crazy that they think he needs to leave Madrid, because he is historical."

Ronaldo, who has been linked with a move to either Manchester United or Paris Saint-Germain, netted in the 64th minute before setting up James Rodriguez four minutes later.

Real manager Zinedine Zidane said the booing would simply spur Ronaldo on. The Portuguese was also jeered in Real's last La Liga game against Celta Vigo. That followed his remarks after last month's 0-1 loss to Atletico Madrid that if all his team-mates were at his level, Real would be top of the league.

"It will only motivate him," said the Frenchman. "The important thing is that every time Cristiano is on the pitch, he wants to score and he keeps doing it."

Real took a whopping 37 shots against Roma. But it was the Italian side who created the better chances. Striker Edin Dzeko could have put Roma ahead on 14 minutes when he received the ball in space from Mohamed Salah, but could only hit the side netting.

Forward Salah also missed the target at the near post in either half, while Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas had to intervene to prevent captain Alessandro Florenzi, Greek defender Kostas Manolas and forward Diego Perotti from scoring.

Navas has yet to let in a goal in this season's Champions League and only trails German Jens Lehmann, who went 853 minutes in Europe's elite club competition without conceding for Arsenal.

Navas remains unbeaten in 540 minutes after keeping his sixth straight clean sheet in this competition.

Roma manager Luciano Spalletti rued the missed opportunities and hit out at his players who believed in moral victories.

"When I come back into the dressing room after the final whistle and see the players satisfied because they will get compliments for the performance, this creates a disappointment and pain in me that I cannot reconcile," he lamented.

"When you go into the dressing room after a 2-0 defeat, you need to be angry and realise the chances you have thrown away over these two games."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 10, 2016, with the headline 'Ramos, Zidane differ over booing of Ronaldo'. Print Edition | Subscribe