MADRID, Dec 7 – Cristiano Ronaldo has become a real favorite with Real Madrid fans with his dazzling skills and goals but they saw a different side of the Portuguese captain in the 4-2 home win over Almeria on Saturday when he didn't celebrate a vital goal with his team-mates and was then sent off for kicking an opponent.Ronaldo won a controversial 82nd minute penalty – with goalkeeper Diego Alves appearing to get a hand on the ball – with the score at 2-2 but fluffed his spot-kick only for team-mate Karim Benzema to spare his blushes by slotting in the rebound.
Rather than celebrate with Benzema, Ronaldo strangely walked back to the centre circle in disappointment at missing his penalty although Frenchman Benzema played down the incident afterwards.
"He (Ronaldo) told us he was really sorry in the changing room," said Benzema. "It is the type of thing that can happen to anyone. He was disappointed to miss the penalty but afterwards he was happy I scored. He is a great professional and wants the team to win."
Despite not celebrating, Ronaldo said he was happy for Benzema, declaring: "I am a perfectionist but the good thing was Karim managed to score."
Real coach Manuel Pellegrini defended Ronaldo’s behaviour saying the world’s most expensive player didn’t have any problems with his team-mates.
"It is difficult when you miss a penalty not to dwell on it," said coach Manuel Pellegrini. "It wasn’t bad sportsmanship and he (Ronaldo) doesn’t have a problem with anyone else nor is he selfish."
Minutes later Ronaldo scored Real’s fourth goal rolling in from close range and ripped off his shirt to celebrate earning him a yellow card for his trouble and it proved a significant booking.
Frustrated by being on the receiving end of shirt-tugs and late challenges, the former Manchester United man was justifiably sent off in the closing stages for kicking Juanma Ortiz completing an action-packed ten minutes for Ronaldo.
"I am human and have my faults too," said Ronaldo. "It was an instinctive reaction and I have apologised to my team-mates."
Ronaldo’s red card means he is now suspended for next weekend’s trip to rivals Valencia having only just returned to action following his ankle injury. "It is a game I really wanted to play in so I am sad," he admitted.
It has been an eventful week for Ronaldo who ended two months out injured with a dramatic first start in ‘El Clasico’ against Barcelona last Sunday with the winger left to rue a glaring early miss as Barca went on to win 1-0 at Camp Nou.
Ronaldo also rubbed Barca midfielder Andres Iniesta up the wrong way in the match by accusing him of diving and the two had some choice words on the pitch before the softly-spoken Iniesta insinuated afterwards that it was a bit hypocritical coming from Ronaldo.
"It disturbed me that Cristiano felt the need to tell me that I shouldn’t dive," said an irate Iniesta. "He is not the most appropriate person to be doing such a thing."