Cristiano Ronaldo scored not one, but two equalizing goals in the second leg of Real Madrid’s Champions League tie against Schalke, making him the first Real Madrid player to score more than 40 goals across all competitions five seasons in a row. But even with all that, and Real Madrid advancing to the next round, Ronaldo still looked like he just watched Lionel Messi’s son draw a picture of The Rock kissing Irina Shayk on the side of the Cristiano Ronaldo museum at full time.
After losing 4–3 in the second leg and slipping through to the quarterfinals on a 5–4 aggregate score, the Bernabeu crowd showered their team with enough whistles to make every dog in Europe howl. Iker Casillas was woeful in goal, Gareth Bale was invisible, and former Real Madrid striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had a brace of his own.
Before the final whistle, Ronaldo appeared to tell Karim Benzema that the night was “embarrassing.” Later, he told the press that he wouldn’t speak to them for the rest of the season. Real manager Carlo Ancelotti, meanwhile, apologized for the poor showing, saying, “I’m very sorry. We played very badly and that is bad for our image.”
Prior to the match, 32% of AS readers said that Ronaldo should be benched (only Gareth Bale had more votes at 46%), which could have been the motivation behind his fiery celebrations after each goal he scored.
Given all of this, it seems Cristiano is once again unhappy in Madrid and, as per usual, wants everyone to know it. If previous instances of this state of Ronaldo are any indication, it will usher in a whirlwind of transfer rumors, official denials, over analysis, and unrequited hope for Manchester United fans. But in the end, the adversity and perceptions of disrespect will only spur Ronaldo on to another round of success. It always does.