It has been a couple of tough days for Cristiano Ronaldo. His ears are still ringing from the furious tongue-lashing handed out to him by Mourinho in the dressing room after the Valencia game. A row as tough as it was unexplainable, given that the Madrid star had given his all against Valverde's lot, and even saved the goal that would have made it 1-1, throwing himself to block a shot from Parejo in Casillas' area.
The Bernabéu however recognised his efforts, allowing the striker to keep his pride intact. The player appreciated the fans cheering his name in unison just when he needed them, and in spite of the fact he missed two chances.
Since then the player has only managed a smile when with his child and his family, with whom he has spent the two days off that Mou gave the squad after Tuesday's Copa del Rey match. Cristiano has spent a lot of time mulling over the argument with his coach, and there are only two words to explain how he feels, according to this newspaper's sources: disappointment and incomprehension.
He is profoundly disappointed because Cristiano has never doubted his countryman. Two weeks ago he celebrated one of his goals against Real Sociedad running to the bench to dedicate the strike to his coach, and to encourage him after he received a mighty jeering from the fans at the start of the game (Mou had left Casillas on the bench for the game...). Cristiano then spoke to the press and asked the fans to stop whistling the coach and that "from now on we need to be united to achieve our goals".
This is why Cristiano doesn't understand Mou's attitude. If there is one thing CR7 has done this season it has been to change his own style. The current Cristiano has bite, he presses his opponents, he tracks back to help out his teammates... The team appreciates it; for that reason so many of them also didn't understand why the coach was shouting at him. Shooting instead of passing to Higuaín, or taking a bad throw-in hardly seem motives for putting on such a show. Cristiano has let his inner circle know that what has most hurt him has been the fact that Mou doubted his professionalism and his attitude on the pitch, given that in reality he always plays at his limit, and he gives 100%.
Even worse is the fact that Mou never says anything when he plays outstandingly, and scores barrel loads of goals, so to attack him individually now is even more shocking.
After two days off coach and striker met again today at training this morning. As it was behind closed doors there were no witnesses but it's likely that Mourinho will have wanted to speak about the incident with the best player the Bernabéu has seen since Di Stéfano. Who has scored 174 in 173 games? Only him.
So it is expected that their will be a conversation between the two. Or not. Pepe had his operation in Oporto at the start of the year, and Mou left him chilled to the bone by utterly ignoring him when he arrived at Valdebebas, not even asking him how he was. Mou has even distanced himself from the Portuguese players...