Cristiano Ronaldo still melancholy, but re-affirms Madrid commitment
Cristiano Ronaldo is still "feeling sad" at Real Madrid but denies it's because of money as he committed himself to the Spanish club on Tuesday.
Ronaldo revealed his feelings after scoring twice in a 3-0 victory against Granada in the Spanish league on Sunday, saying professional reasons had made him unhappy at Madrid without revealing them.
"That I am feeling sad and have expressed this sadness has created a huge stir. I am accused of wanting more money, but one day it will be shown that this is not the case," Ronaldo said in a statement.
"At this point, I just want to guarantee to the Real Madrid fans that my motivation, dedication, commitment and desire to win all competitions will not be affected. I have too much respect for myself and for Real Madrid to ever give less to the club than all I am capable of."
Madrid has not responded to Ronaldo's comments.
The 27-year-old Portugal winger's statement comes after Spanish media has speculated whether his behaviour has been part of a contract ploy, a problem with teammates or sour grapes after losing the UEFA award as Best Player in Europe to Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta on Friday.
Ronaldo's teammates were just as surprised to learn their star player was unhappy, causing speculation to grow about his future at Madrid.
"If Cristiano is sad and needs the support of his teammates, clearly he'll have it. He needs the support of the club also. At Real Madrid we are a family," defender Alvaro Arbeloa said. "He doesn't have the problems that the majority of Spaniards do, but it's perfectly reasonable that he's sad."
Kaka also defended Ronaldo but striker Gonzalo Higuain was mystified by his teammate's feelings, while Xabi Alonso had little to add.
"I'll only speak for myself, but I'm happy," Alonso said as he joined Arbeloa for national team duty with Spain. "He is as he is."
Ronaldo's statement led to tongue-in-cheek questions about the feelings of football figures across the country, including at Madrid's major rival.
"At Barca, we're all happy," Barcelona club spokesman Toni Freixa said.
Ronaldo joined Madrid from Manchester United for 80 million pounds (then $131 million US) in 2009, signing a contract that ties him to the club until 2015.
Ronaldo is training with Portugal ahead of World Cup qualifying.