The gestures, the sour face and the words uttered by Cristiano Ronaldo in response to whistles from the crowd, as the Portuguese star vented his frustrations during last weekend's La Liga encounter with Levante, certainly didn't go unnoticed. In the full glare of the Spanish media, his every action highlighted, broadcast and published.
Real Madrid legend Carlos Santillana has now waded into the debate, critical of Ronaldo and suggesting that such actions are neither worthy of a great player, nor will they easily be forgotten. The 62-year-old told Marca: "As a fan, I really don't like to see Cristiano Ronaldo this way, but that's the way he is. Although he should restrain himself from what is such a cocky attitude."
As the tension and hype builds up to this Sunday's massive clash between Barcelona and Real Madrid in the Clásico, Santillana doesn't see any favourites between the two sides in such an important game, highlighting: "If Real Madrid win at the Camp Nou, it would be a moral triumph, whilst if they can beat Barcelona, it would push them a little closer to the title, but I don't see any favourites."
During his own playing days, between 1971 and 1988 with Real Madrid, Santillana made 548 appearances in all competitions, scoring 234 goals, winning the UEFA Cup twice, La Liga nine times and the Copa del Rey on four occasions. He also gained 56 caps for Spain, appearing at two World Cup tournaments and two European Championships.
Santillana also backs current Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, amid criticism from the Spanish media that the Italian is a soft touch and doesn't show any real animation from the touchline. As far as he's concerned, "When you're a player and you're out there on the pitch, you can't really hear anything the manager is saying anyway, so there's not really any point them shouting from the touchline. What matters most is that a manager has authority in the dressing room."