Real downplay Ronaldo row
Jose Mourinho (Gallo Images)
Madrid - Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho on Friday played down the significance of Cristiano Ronaldo's recent claims to being unhappy in the Spanish capital by saying all that matters are his on-field performances.
"If Ronaldo is sad but plays like he has been playing, that is perfect for me," Mourinho said at a press conference ahead of his team's trip to play Sevilla in La Liga on Saturday night.
It was the first time Mourinho had spoken of the controversy, which erupted in the wake of Madrid's home win against Granada two weeks ago when Ronaldo claimed he was "sad" at the club for "professional reasons."
The player has since been away on international duty, helping Portugal to wins against Luxembourg and Azerbaijan in their opening two qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup.
"Cristiano gives everything in training and when he plays," added Mourinho. "If he plays terribly (on Saturday) and is tired, then I will take him off after 75 minutes like I would with any other player.
"As coach, I have responsibilities when it comes to how my players perform, but not when it comes to anything else.
"I don't need to worry about things that are unnecessary and not important."
However, the 'Special One' admitted that he has not been entirely happy with his side's start to the season, which has seen them win the Super Cup against Barcelona but win just one of their first three games in La Liga.
"We played well in the second leg of the Super Cup. But I have not been happy with any of our three league games. Therefore, I expect more from my players," he said.