MADRID. – Cristiano Ronaldo deserves more respect, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said yesterday as he backed the usually prolific Portuguese to come good in the second half of the season amid his worst domestic campaign in Spain. Ronaldo has scored two goals in 10 league games and came in for criticism in the Spanish media for his display in Real’s goalless draw against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday which left the Liga champions eight points behind leaders Barcelona.
The 32-year-old is still expected to pick up the Ballon d‘Or award tomorrow for firing Real to Champions League glory last season, scoring hat-tricks against Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid in the quarter and semi-finals and a double in the 4-1 win over Juventus in the final.
If he wins the award, Ronaldo will tie Lionel Messi’s record of being named the best player in the world five times. – Reuters.