Ronaldo booed by press, fans
Johannesburg - The Spanish press have rounded on Cristiano Ronaldo following Real Madrid's loss to Spanish champions-elect Barcelona on Saturday night.
"Leo makes a fool of Cristiano in the clash of the stars" was the headline in the Catalan daily Sport after Messi's opening goal had knocked the wind out of Real's sails.
"Too much Messi for CR9," was the headline in the usually Real-biased Marca newspaper.
"Lionel Messi showed on Saturday in the Bernabéu that the second-best player in the world is light years from his level," the Sport suggested. "As Leo was attempting to add to his goal tally, Cristiano was lost on the pitch, making pointless runs and expressing his rage with angry, excessive gestures."
"Ronaldo had to resign himself to the fact that his reign in the football world has ended and that's that."
The scathing reports in the Spanish press echoed the disappointment felt by Real fans, who booed Ronaldo towards the end of the match.
Their reaction towards the Portuguese star may be considered harsh by some. Most of Real's best work in the Clasico emanated from Ronaldo, and he was exhausted by his total, if ultimately fruitless, commitment to Real's cause. It's just that many Real supporters remain unconvinced in this season, which looks set to end trophy-less, that Ronaldo is worth the €94m he was bought for, or that his cause is in actual fact Real's.
It will be interesting to see whether Ronaldo can help to pick Real up with some of his typically brilliant performances after suffering such a public disappointment.
As JJ Santos noted in Spanish As newspaper, "Cristiano turned into a roadrunner chasing shadows."
"By the time he found space and had the ball he was already exhausted and had to watch in despair as a genius like Messi destroyed Pellegrini's defensive network."
"And even harder to take than the defeat must have been the fact that the fans whistled him for the first time."