Isco: Media lying about Ronaldo

Reports claim several players felt the Portugal star was wrong to celebrate following last weekend’s humiliating defeat – but his team-mate says that isn’t true

Isco says the media are lying over claims the Real Madrid dressing room are divided over Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to throw a 30th birthday party following the 4-0 defeat to Atletico last weekend.

Photos emerged on the internet of the Portugal star celebrating with 150 friends and family, including Madrid team-mates Fabio Coentrao, Marcelo, James Rodriguez, Keylor Nevas and Luka Modric.

However, Isco insisted that Madrid’s flat performance in Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Depor on Saturday was not a reflection of the alleged divisons in the dressing room, claiming they were simply suffering from a minor derby hangover.

“It was down to sporting reasons,” the Spain international told reporters. “It was difficult after the rout last week.

“What the press are saying isn’t true: the unity in the dressing room is magnificent. 

“After the drubbing it’s been good to fix things with a dose of humility and this team knows how to come back from tough situations.

“Together we’ll move forward with more strength than ever. Indeed, I think the team has to keep growing in confidence for what’s coming up. 

“It was an odd game, tense from the start, but together we can keep pushing forward to get to a better place, and to play better. 

“With hard work and the enthusiasm of everyone we can do it.”

Isco opened the scoring at Depor with a fine finish and he was one of the few Madrid players cheered throughout the game in the Spanish capital.

“They always sing for me,” the former Malaga man said. “I try to earn it on the pitch doing what I can. 

“I’m grateful to the fans for the strength they give me with their songs.”

Isco, who is enjoying the best spell of his Madrid career to date, now has his eyes firmly set on the first leg of the Champions League last-16 clash with Schalke at the Veltins-Arena on Wednesday night.

“It’s a tough ground, but we’re Madrid and we’ll give it everything to win,” the attacking midfielder added.

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