Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice and set a landmark all-time record for goals in Europe, but Real Madrid still lost on Tuesday night, 3-4 against Schalke in the Champions League second leg. Fortunately for Los Blancos, they had their first leg 2-0 result in Germany to fall back on, edging them into the quarter finals of the competition.
Twice the German side courageously took the lead. Twice Cristiano hauled his team back on level terms before half-time. Karim Benzema gave Real Madrid a 3-2 lead early in the second half, but still Schalke refused to back down, as youngster Leroy Sané levelled the game at 3-3. Amidst the whistles of discontentment from the Bernabéu crowd, Klaas Jan Huntelaar rubbed salt into the defensive wounds of the home side, scoring a fourth for the visitors, six minutes from time.
Schalke created more chances to win not just the game, but also the tie and progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, amidst the tension of those final moments, but Real Madrid escaped by the skin of their teeth. The fans certainly didn't hold back in venting their anger at the final whistle, with the Bernabéu crowd always demanding of the very best from their 'Galacticos'.
After the game and amidst the apologies from players in post-match interviews, including a repentant tone from manager Carlo Ancelotti, admitting his team had been woeful, hopeful journalists gathered in the mixed zone, keen to get some positive comments from Cristiano Ronaldo. He had achieved an important scoring milestone after all.
Amongst the journalists were those of Spanish broadcaster Canal+ with their dedicated Champions League channel, cameras at the ready and keen to catch the thoughts of the Portuguese star. He marched straight past them and out the Bernabéu exit door.
"I'm not going to talk any more until the end of the season." Cristiano Ronaldo uttered to the journalists as he quickly departed, according to Canal+ anchorman, Nacho Aranda.
Whether this remains just a heat of the moment reaction to what was a poor overall performance from the team, it's difficult to say. On occasions when Cristiano Ronaldo has suffered defeat with Real Madrid, then spoken to the media after the game, it's been difficult for him to bite his tongue and not lose his temper with journalists.
After the derby defeat against Atlético Madrid, when a journalist from TV3 questioned Cristiano about his dismissal two weeks prior against Córdoba, the Portuguese star blew a fuse and lambasted said journalist as being "unintelligent" (via Inside Spanish Football), then stormed away in frustration, annoyed about being asked questions that weren't about the match he'd just played.
Aside from football, there's also his recent split with girlfriend, Irina Shayk, who has recently decided to go public with her thoughts to Spanish Magazine 'Hola', with suggestions she's taking a swipe at Cristiano (according to the Daily Mail). Chat shows in Spain and sports journalists alike, are also debating whether this split has affected both his footballing form and his psychological outlook.
Few could blame Cristiano, as driven a professional as he is, determined to be the best and to have the best around him, for wanting to shun the media right now. Only time will tell if he meant what he said on Tuesday night and will effectively refuse any media interaction, between now and the end of the season.