Sat, Sep 15, 2012 - Page 18 News List

BBVA: Ronaldo backed to shine, despite ‘sad’ hullabaloo

AFP, MADRID

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo gestures in his side’s 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Azerbaijan in Braga, Portugal, on Tuesday.

Photo: Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo will put his latest controversy behind him and rescue Real Madrid from their faltering start to the season, his teammates have insisted.

The Portuguese star described himself as being “sad” after scoring twice in a 3-0 win over Granada without offering further explanation and his words have kept him in the eye of a storm in Spain during the international break. Media speculation has focused on his current contract being the source of his discontent, but Ronaldo has denied this.

“I want to underline that all my attention is fully on winning games and all the trophies possible, with no worries about contracts, and to do that I am counting on the crucial support of my teammates and all Madrid fans,” Ronaldo said.

A number of his colleagues have also been quick to play down any problems his words may have caused within the Madrid camp and defender Alvaro Arbeloa believes the fans will also be supportive when the team takes on Sevilla today.

“All parties involved have put behind them whatever problem there was and I think the fans will also, in fact I think the crowd will cheer him more than ever,” Arbeloa said.

Strike partner Gonzalo Higuain has added his support, declaring Ronaldo “always seems happy.”

“We should not pay too much notice to what he said, but we have to win in Seville, we can’t afford to drop more points in the league,” Higuain said.

Madrid find themselves five points adrift of La Liga leaders Barcelona after only three league games.

Barcelona go to a Getafe side today that has already beaten Madrid this season. They were also one of the teams to beat the Catalans last term.

Getafe midfielder Jaime Gavilan is confident his side can repeat those two results.

“We want to take something positive from the match. On paper, they are better then us, but it’s 11 against 11 and each match is different, so anything is possible,” Gavilan said.

Barca will have to do without Andres Iniesta and Chile forward Alexis Sanchez, who have returned from international duty with abductor and thigh injuries.

Winger Pedro Rodriguez said that they will face a difficult task in the south of Madrid.

“This weekend will be crucial. Getafe will be a key match for us,” Rodriguez said.

Rayo Vallecano de Madrid and Atletico Madrid meet in a derby tomorrow, with both sides from the capital still unbeaten, while Malaga, also undefeated, kickoff the weekend today at home to Levante UD.

CA Osasuna and RCD Espanyol are the only two sides still to win a point this season.

Both will be keen to get off the mark in winnable home matches against RCD Mallorca and Athletic Bilbao, for who Fernando Llorente is yet to make a start this season and he is again struggling to make the squad.

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