MADRID (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo says criticism against him is getting worse, and he doesn’t think it’s fair.
Ronaldo made his comments after scoring twice in Real Madrid’s 3-1 win at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League group stage on Tuesday.
“It seems that match after match I have to show who I am,” Ronaldo said. “I’m surprised by the public opinion about me. Again, the numbers speak for themselves.”
Ronaldo also scored twice in Madrid’s Champions League opener this season, a 3-0 win against APOEL. But he was criticized by many after a poor performance in a 1-0 home loss against Real Betis in the Spanish league. The Portuguese missed several chances in that game, including clear opportunities in front of goal.
“I’m happy because I know that when everything is normal, that when I’m well and the opportunities appear, I will score,” Ronaldo said. “Sometimes the goalkeepers will make saves, or the woodwork will stop me, but this is part of football.
“I always work the same way,” Ronaldo said. “I’m an example as a professional. I never become desperate, although some people may think that I do. I’m always with a healthy mind, a clear mind, prepared for great challenges and for the criticism, which is getting worse.”
This is not the first — or likely last — time that Ronaldo has complained about criticism against him. But Ronaldo reiterated that he is happy playing in Madrid and that he never said he wanted to leave, as widely reported after a tax-fraud investigation in Spain earlier this year.
“You didn’t hear that from me,” Ronaldo said. “People talk about Cristiano every day, everywhere in the world. If I had to answer to all the people who talk about me, I would only do that, and it can’t be that way. I live for football and for my family, the rest is secondary. Everything that involves the name of Cristiano is news everywhere in the world, it’s normal. When you are a big name, people will always talk about you.”
Ronaldo dismissed questions about a possible new contract with Madrid, saying that’s for club president Florentino Perez to talk about.
But Ronaldo also said he doesn’t feel Madrid depends on him to succeed.
“When Cristiano is not playing, Real Madrid remains the same,” he said. “I see Real Madrid strong, with a great team, a great squad. It’s not about individual players.”
The game against Dortmund marked Ronaldo’s 400th appearance with Real Madrid since his debut in 2009. He is the club’s all-time scoring leader with 412 goals.
Ronaldo’s season got off to a slow start after a five-match suspension for shoving a referee in the Spanish Super Cup final. He has scored five goals in six games so far.
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