Real Madrid defender Pepe says comments made by Cristiano Ronaldo in the aftermath of the defeat to Atletico de Madrid have been forgotten and the team is pulling in the same direction.
Ronaldo said on Saturday that Los Blancos could be top of the table if everyone was ‘at the same level’ as he was – in what many took to be a insult towards the fringe players who failed to live up to expectations during the 1-0 loss to the city rivals.
The striker cleared up his comments later by saying that he meant any team shorn of the likes of injured trio Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric would find the going tough no matter what the scenario.
Reports have said that Ronaldo has apologised to his team mates in recent days, and speaking after the 3-1 win over Levante on Wednesday, Pepe said the incident has been forgotten already.
“The comments made by Cristiano are old now. It’s passed. We spoke about it and everyone is together on the same boat. We’re all together and going to sweat for the shirt of Madrid because Madrid fans around the world suffer when we lose,” he told TV reporters.
The centre back also revealed his frustration at being sidelined and admitted maybe the team was guilty of coasting through some games.
“We were demanded to work tonight and that’s what we’ve done. There were many who haven’t played regularly so being tired is normal. I missed playing while I was recovering. The fans will always ask us to give our maximum. Maybe in some games we relaxed too much,” he commented.