Zinedine Zidane said criticism from the Real Madrid fans helped players to “do more” after Cristiano Ronaldo responded to whistles with a four-goal haul in Saturday’s 7-1 La Liga win at home to Celta Vigo.
Madrid, who won 3-1 at Levante in midweek, were making their first appearance at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu since last weekend’s 1-0 derbi defeat to Atletico, and many in the crowd took the opportunity to vent their frustration at the players.
Zidane’s side broke the deadlock through Pepe shortly before half-time, but fans still whistled Ronaldo early in the second half when he misplaced a simple pass.
Shortly afterwards, Ronaldo swerved home a shot from 30 yards, cupping his hand to his ear during the celebration, and he added a further three goals over the next 25 minutes to help his side to a 5-1 lead.
Jese Rodriguez and Gareth Bale added to the scoreline late on, with Iago Aspas having earlier struck for Celta when they were 3-0 down.
Zidane suggested after the match that the fans’ whistles had given Ronaldo extra motivation for his remarkable second-half performance.
“I will stick with his performance,” Zidane said. “It’s part of football that the fans whistle sometimes, not just [at] Cristiano. It is like that. These are demanding fans who know the game well and always want more from their players. That is good to improve, to do more, and we always need to do more.
“Then, you all know Cristiano — he is capable of putting in four. Few can do that. He is unique.”
Ronaldo now has 252 goals in just 228 La Liga games and overtook Athletic Bilbao legend Telmo Zarra to go second in the Spanish league’s all-time goal-scoring charts, although he remains some distance behind Lionel Messi’s 304.
The Portuguese also now heads the La Liga “Pichichi” and European Golden Boot races for this season with 27 goals.
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