Alves tells Ronaldo: You must accept the flak!

The Brazilian says the Real Madrid ace just has to deal with the criticism coming his way given he so willingly puts himself in the limelight

Barcelona full-back Dani Alves says Cristiano Ronaldo should expect to take most of the blame for Real Madrid’s Clasico humiliation.

Barca cruised to a 4-0 success at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday, piling the pressure on coach Rafael Benitez, as well as president Florentino Perez and star forward Ronaldo.

But Dani Alves refused to offer any sympathy to Barca’s fierce rivals, suggesting criticism comes with the territory for big-name players such as the Portuguese star.

“He’s still Cristiano – a top quality player. Perhaps that’s the problem,” he told reporters.

“How can I say this? He’s such a character, he likes to be the protagonist. If you want to be like that, when you win they speak about you and put you in the limelight but, if you lose, you must take the flak.

“If the team doesn’t get things right or win it’s going to be your fault.

“But we have enough to worry about ourselves without Cristiano. To be honest, I don’t care what Cristiano does.”

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Plenty have pointed the finger at Perez for appointing Benitez during the close-season, with the Bernabeu crowd voicing their discontent at Saturday’s performance.

“I don’t care what happens at Madrid as long we’re doing well,” Dani Alves added, “It’s a competition and, if your opponent is weak, you need to be strong and make sure they don’t have an option.

“It’s not our problem. The secret [to winning the Clasico] is to have a good team, one with balls, personality and ambition and that’s what we have.

“They approached the game in a way to attack and counter us but we were cleverer. We played a better game and understood the game better.

“We scored more goals and that’s what football is about, trying to take options away.

“That gives us a better chance of winning. I think we played the perfect game in every aspect.

“We looked so much better [than the 6-2 win at the Bernabeu in 2009] but not because Madrid were bad.

“It’s that we played well. People focus on Madrid and what they did wrong rather than what we got right. We read it to perfection – we were incredible in every aspect.”

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