Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has urged fans to get behind "important player" Welshman Gareth Bale after the latter was criticised for being selfish during the Spanish football club's win over Espanyol in La Liga.
The criticism came a week after the world's most expensive player was denounced for not passing to Frenchman Karim Benzema when clean through during Real's 1-2 defeat against Valencia.
Ronaldo was left fuming after Bale decided not to play the ball to him in the match on Saturday, but the Portuguese ace insisted that it was a thing of the past and the fans "should be nice" to Bale.
"Madrid fans are always the same, they are very intense, they show what they feel, they aren't liars," Ronaldo said at the Fifa Ballon d'Or ceremony on Monday, where he was voted the best player in the world for the second successive year.
"But I think the things with Gaz (Bale) are normal because they know that Gaz is a very important player for us, a key player.
"What happened on Saturday is in the past. Sometimes I make mistakes too, so it's part of the business, part of football. I think the people will be nice with him and they should be nice with him," added the 29-year-old.