Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has called on reporters and pundits to give Cristiano Ronaldo more respect.
42 goals in all competitions last season saw Ronaldo claim the FIFA Best Award and become odds on favourite to claim another Ballon d’or, but his current season has been far from his perfect standards.
Having been banned for the opening four games of the domestic season, the Portuguese forward has scored just twice in ten La Liga games.
His form in Europe has been different, netting eight in five but it is his current on and off the ball form which has seen many criticise and claim he could be set to leave the club next summer.
Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain have been labelled with interest, picking up on the fact that his season thus far is yet to get underway in his typically brilliant style.
Zidane, who has seen his side struggle, sitting eight points behind league leaders Barcelona – has asked for more respect.
“I think Cristiano deserves more respect, but he is so great that when things don’t go as well it’s normal for people to have an opinion on him,” Zidane told reporters.
“The people who love Cristiano and the club know what he is doing. A short time ago, last year, he had a phenomenal season. We’re halfway, there are still six months to go. Six months is a very long time with Cristiano.”
Zidane’s side head into Wednesday nights game with both feet in the knockout stages but much has been the attention on their league form and performances of late.
Whilst the likes of Ronaldo are expected to start, a number of fringe players are expected to feature against the German side.