Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso has conceded that he shares no personal friendship with Cristiano Ronaldo but that there is a mutual respect between the two.
Since the start of the season, there has been much speculation surrounding relations within the Madrid camp after Ronaldo went public with his ‘sadness’ at the club.
The former Liverpool midfielder is now the latest to reveal the nature of his relationship with the ex-Manchester United star and he admits that the pair’s friendship does not extend off the pitch.
“Between him and me there is appreciation and professional respect,” he told ETB.
“Clearly not everyone in the locker room are friends of mine and outside there is almost no relationship between us. But inside the dressing room, we get along. Cristiano is no diva.”
However, Alonso stressed the importance of the Portugal captain to Real Madrid – and he had nothing but kind words for his coach, Jose Mourinho.
“He (Ronaldo) is a very ambitious person and has strong self-belief. He is an important player for the team,” the Spaniard continued.
“I am always learning from Mourinho. He is very demanding and takes care of all the details.
“People think they know him, but they only see his outside image. I know him inside the dressing room, and he’s very different.”