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Spanish media pillories Real after league slip

The Spanish press pilloried Real Madrid on Monday after the team's first home league defeat of the season cost them the leadership of Spain's Primera Liga days after their humbling Champions League exit.
PTI | By Reuters, Madrid
PUBLISHED ON APR 14, 2004 08:36 PM IST

The Spanish press pilloried Real Madrid on Monday after the team's first home league defeat of the season cost them the leadership of Spain's Primera Liga days after their humbling Champions League exit.

"Galactic ridicule," Sport newspaper cried in a front-page headline, mocking the team's nickname after they were outplayed by Osasuna in Sunday's 3-0 defeat as Madrid fans whistled and waved white handkerchiefs.

"S.O.S." sports newspaper As said, saying Osasuna had taught Real Madrid a lesson while daily El Mundo titled its article "Suicide at the Bernabeu."

The loss knocked Real Madrid off the top of the Primera Liga and capped a demoralising week after they were knocked out of the Champions League with a 3-1 defeat by Monaco in the second leg of their quarter-final on Tuesday.

The "galacticos", whose squad includes Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Luis Figo and Raul, now face the humiliating prospect of ending the season without a trophy.

"If things are going badly, don't worry, tomorrow they could be worse," Roberto Palomar, writing in sports daily Marca, suggested as a team motto.

The newspaper also said: "the symptoms are the same as any team in crisis, but with the multiplying effect...of having five of the best players in the world on the pitch."

Sporting director Jorge Valdano described the Osasuna game, played on a day known in Spain as Resurrection Sunday, as the team's lowest ebb for four years, though the team's left back Roberto Carlos said he was sure they could still win the league.

"Last year we were four points behind and we won the league. If we carry on with the same mentality, everything will change because we are a great team," the Brazil international told Europa Press.

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