MADRID, Spain, January 12 – Carlo Ancelotti will take action if he sees any sign of selfishness among his Real Madrid players after Gareth Bale was jeered by fans for not passing to Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ancelotti appeared to find no fault with the striker who came in for criticism from Real fans at the Bernabéu on Saturday after shooting wide when clean through against Espanyol rather than squaring the ball to Ronaldo alongside him.
Ronaldo also appeared to be angry at not being given what would have been a tap-in for him following the breakaway in the second half of the 3-0 win.
The incident came a week after Bale was also criticised for going for goal instead of passing to Karim Benzema during the 2-1 defeat at Valencia – a result that ended Real’s winning streak on 22 matches.
When asked about the subject, Ancelotti said selflessness was an important part of his side’s play but he did not criticise Bale, who scored Real’s second goal with a superb free-kick.
The manager said: “Bale has played a very good game. He’s played with intensity and he’s scored.
“It could be that at that moment the fans have asked for a pass to Cristiano, which hasn’t happened and, like all strikers who are in front of goal, he tried to score.
“Altruism is a very important component of the team. If there is any play which seems selfish we’ll clearly fix it. We have fans who demand a lot. Bale is a fundamental player like Cristiano and for that the fans demand much more than of others.”
The Real defender Nacho – who scored the third goal against Espanyol following first-half strikes by James Rodríguez and Bale – insists the relationship between Bale and Ronaldo is “fantastic”. He said in AS: “Their relationship is fantastic. We’re a group, we all get on amazingly.”