Despite being widely respected and adored by the majority of Real Madrid supporters, Cristiano Ronaldo has been the subject of some ire from sections of the faithful who have whistled him, leading to the Portuguese star calling for more applause on Tuesday evening.
His performance certainly warranted it as his hat-trick handed Los Blancos a 3-0 advantage heading into Wednesday’s second leg with Atletico Madrid.
Yet the 32-year-old couldn’t help his frustrations coming out as he celebrated one of his goals, making made a gesture towards the crowd that intimated his want for more recognition.
Whilst a very confident individual with a sizable ego, Ronaldo has nevertheless been hurt by the whistles from his own supporters and wishes only to feel the respect of his own fans.
In truth he is an easy target when things aren’t going well and in certain high pressure matches any individual mistake is going to be highlighted and remembered.
The relationship between Zinedine Zidane and the veteran forward is an interesting one with there being times when it looks as if the pair could come to blows.
Yet as Los Blancos look to what is likely to be a second successive Champions League final under the Frenchman it appears as though the two have a great understanding of what one needs to give to the other.
Ronaldo has had his fitness and minutes micromanaged this season to ensure he doesn’t suffer physical burn out by April.
When you have such a consistently world class performer it is easy to run them into the ground as previous managers have done, yet Zidane has been brave enough to rest and drop Ronaldo when necessary.
As such we are seeing the Madeira-born star flourish physically as the season enters its decisive phase, there is also an argument to suggest we are seeing a more team-centric Ronaldo.
Zidane is a coach that is focused only on the team, this is a dynamic that has worked thus far and Ronaldo has fitted in well.
For now the focus is on securing the two titles left on offer and the former Manchester United forward will be crucial to those efforts, he has delivered goals at exactly the right time and now he wants supporters to deliver applause and respect in kind.
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