Cristiano Ronaldo’s critics have been branded envious by his Real Madrid team-mate Marcelo in the aftermath of his star showing against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
The current holder of the Ballon d’Or, who enjoyed a remarkable 2016 even by his own high standards, has faced questions this season regarding his form and commitment.
He has, however, still netted 28 times in 37 appearances, with a match-winning brace against Bayern allowing Champions League holders Madrid to establish a first-leg lead in their quarter-final clash.
Brazilian full-back Marcelo told reporters after that tie on Ronaldo’s detractors: “I think they have a problem, maybe it’s envy.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with them, he works hard and helps his team.
“It must be envy, you only have to look at this numbers and he still keeps on producing.
“He’s happy to have scored, but he’s even happier about the result.”
Madrid’s cause at the Allianz Arena was aided by the dismissal of Javi Martinez for the hosts, with Marcelo conceding that Zinedine Zidane’s side sought to make the most of their numerical advantage.
He added: “We made the most of it.
“We put in a great performance, but we also let in a goal.”
The return date at Santiago Bernabeu is due to take place next Tuesday, with Madrid in a strong position to reach the last four after grabbing two away goals in Germany.
Ronaldo will be hoping to make another telling contribution in that fixture, with his brace against Bayern taking him on to 100 goals in European competitions.