Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (L) laughs as he receives a red card during their Spanish first division soccer match against Athletic Bilbao at San Mames stadium in Bilbao February 2, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
Real Madrid players expressed disappointment over the red card shown to their giant star player Cristiano Ronaldo during the 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao on the 22nd La Liga match day on Sunday.
With 15 minutes left in a hard-fought clash with Bilbao, Ronaldo was dismissed for pushing Carlos Gurpegui in the face and getting involved in a confrontation with Ander Iturraspe.
"It is tough to lose a player unfairly. Cristiano’s sending off was unfair, but I am not going to talk about whether the referee had a good match or not," Real Madrid Brazilian Marcelo was quoted as saying on the club's official website after the game.
"We won a point, which is very difficult here, but our mentality is to win every match," he added.
Real Madrid's defensive midfielder Xabi Alonso also believed that the referee of their away game to Athletic Bilbao was influenced by the crowd and took an exaggerated decision.
"It was not aggression; Cristiano Ronaldo’s red was exaggerated. Gurpegui made the most of it and the crowd influenced the referee throughout the match," Alonso said after the game.
"This always happens, it's nothing new. Cristiano shouldn’t have done what he did but it is not a sending off, that went against us," the deep-lying playmaker added.
Although Meringues' coach Carlo Ancelotti refused to take a sharp stance about Ronaldo's red card, he still esteemed it to be a little exaggerated.
"It's tough for me to say because I was not close to it, but the pictures show that it was a bit exaggerated," Ancelotti said.
Real Madrid remained third in the Spain La Liga teams' table with 54 points, behind Barcelona on goal difference and three points behind leaders Atletico Madrid.
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