Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini says Cristiano Ronaldo needs more time to adapt to his new club after the Portuguese winger failed to impress during his side's trouncing of Rosenborg on Monday in the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy.
"Cristiano Ronaldo needs a little time to adapt to his new team's style. Every player on the squad is working hard to be fit and play well," he said in comments published on Tuesday on the Real Madrid website.
"Cristiano has experienced a change in style and now lives in a different country. He needs a little more time unlike those who already know La Liga."
Spain's media expressed disappointment on Tuesday in Ronaldo, who joined Real from Manchester United last month for a record 94 million euros (135 million dollars), over his failure to score during the match.
Top-selling El Pais said the 24-year-old has "struggled to find his place" possibly "because he tries too much to please the public with his technical feats" while ABC said he "spends more time watching the stands than the match itself".
Sports daily AS said Ronaldo put in a "discreet" performance and "did not score despite having numerous chances".
"He showed himself very impatient to try to score," it said.
The comments contrast to the words of praise heaped on French striker Karim Benzema who joined Real from Lyon for 35 million euros last month and who scored twice during the club's friendly match at home against Rosenborg.
"He is only 21 and he is already shining," said AS while ABC praised Benzema's "indeterminable and fatal powder".
El Pais said the match "was only a preview of Benzema's enormous possibilities".
Real called Benzema "the best player of the match" in a review of players' performances during the match posted on its website on Tuesday and said Ronaldo "constantly showed the quality of his footwork".
"Everything indicated when you watch him on the pitch that his final explosion will be a matter of time and trust," it added.
Real will play their first match of the new Spanish league season on Saturday at home against minnows Deportivo La Coruna.