Real Madrid’s poor start to the season appears to have driven a wedge between two of the club’s most senior players.
That’s according to Spanish publication Marca, who claim captain Sergio Ramos has been left dismayed by Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent comments to the media, and vice versa.
Following Los Blancos’ Champions League defeat away at Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month, Ronaldo attributed the club’s poor form to a loss of experienced players during the summer, a view which is said to have irked Ramos.
“The players who arrived this summer have a lot of potential,” Ronaldo told the media.
“Pepe, Álvaro Morata and James Rodríguez made us stronger, but those in the squad today are younger.
“We also need [Dani] Carvajal and [Gareth] Bale back.
“It is not a worse squad but it has less experience and that is very important. It’s not an excuse, I’m happy and the alarms are not going off.”
The Portuguese was recently rumoured to have presented Madrid’s hierarchy with a list of players he feels should be moved on and Marca claim the atmosphere in the dressing room has changed since a number of his key allies – such as Pepe, Fábio Coentrão and James – departed during the summer.
As a result, Ramos has reportedly become a more influential figure at the club this season and Ronaldo is said to have been annoyed by the Andalusian’s recent open courtship of Neymar (“I like to play with the best and Neymar is one of them, I hope,” Ramos told Cadena SER last week) as well as the answer he gave to the media when asked about Ronaldo’s future during the international break.
“Cristiano is leaving? Ask him, I don’t know about these things,” Ramos remarked following Spain’s 3-3 draw with Russia on Tuesday.
Zinedine Zidane’s side travel to face local rivals Atlético on Saturday and if they’re to have any hope of catching Barcelona in the La Liga title race, they must settle their differences and stick together.