Saturday 2 May 2015 10:31, UK
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has leapt to the defence of Cristiano Ronaldo after criticism of his behaviour towards his teammates in Wednesday's 3-0 win over Almeria.
Ronaldo failed to find the net for the third consecutive game in the routine win over the Andalusians and showed his frustration when Alvaro Arbeloa sneaked ahead of him to turn in Javier Hernandez's cross for Madrid's third.
The Portuguese kicked the ball into the net in apparent annoyance and jogged back to the halfway line rather than celebrating the goal, with whistles and boos emanating from a minority of the Bernabeu faithful.
"He has scored all those goals because he has character and he always wants to improve," Ancelotti said.
"That is the reason he has scored so many goals for such a long time. I don't understand people in the Bernabeu who boo Cristiano."
Madrid now face a season-defining four-game stretch in 10 days that will see them face Sevilla and Valencia in La Liga, as well as Ancelotti's old side in Juventus in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
They should at least be boosted by the return of Gareth Bale for the visit to Sevilla on Saturday, while Karim Benzema could be fit to face the Italian champions in Turin on Tuesday.
"Bale has trained with the team. He is fine and I think he will be available for tomorrow," Ancelotti added.
"Benzema is doing individual work, we will see on Sunday or Monday if he can be with the team.
"We are not going to take risks because it is not the final game of the season. It could be that they are available to play without taking risks, but not for 90 minutes."
Despite missing Bale, Benzema and Luka Modric in recent weeks, Madrid have kept up their quest for success at home and on the continent with six consecutive wins in La Liga, allied to progress to the last four of the Champions League with a tense 1-0 aggregate win over Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals.
However, despite his indifferent form this season, Ancelotti insists that Bale can offer a different dimension to his side in the final month of the season.
"The team has reacted very well to the injuries we have had to Modric, Bale and Benzema," Ancelotti added.
"Bale will help us because he is fresher than others and at this stage of the season that could be very important."
Watch Sevilla v Real Madrid live on Sky Sports 5 HD at 7pm on Saturday night.