Raul and Ronaldo in verbal duel
Sunday's defeat at Real Mallorca has intensified a simmering feud between Real Madrid stars Raul and Ronaldo with the Brazilian hitting back at earlier criticism from the Spanish international.india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 18:39 IST
Sunday's defeat at Real Mallorca has intensified a simmering feud between Real Madrid stars Raul and Ronaldo with the Brazilian hitting back at earlier criticism from the Spanish international.
Raul had accused his teammate of damping some of the 'magic' of the Champions League after saying on the eve of last week's home defeat by Arsenal that he had "never really felt at home at the Bernabeu" and that fans "don't show any patience to me."
But the criticism irked the three-time world player of the year and after the loss to Mallorca all but ended Real's hopes of overhauling runaway league leaders Barcelona Ronaldo hit back at his fellow 'galactico.'
"Everyone says what he wants and talks about what he wants. Raul is responsible for his own words and I am for mine, but it's sure that his words have only made the situation worse," Ronaldo told Cadena Cope radio following Sunday's loss.
Raul has been an idol at the Bernabeu for over a decade and has won three European Cups.
Ronaldo, in contrast, has in his three seasons failed to land the continental game's top honour and the media have been awash with speculation he will head back to Italy in the summer, either to former club Inter Milan or city rivals AC Milan.
Real defender Sergio Ramos, who scored a consolation goal in Mallorca, also commented on the apparent lack of unity in the squad.
"After my goal, I had the impression it was Mallorca who had scored," he said.
"Unity makes you strong and that's a factor which counts for a lot. It would be different if relations between players were warmer," he added pointedly.
With 13 games to go in La Liga, Real are ten points adrift of Barca and if they exit the Champions League at Highbury next week they will end a third straight season empty-handed.