BARCELONA May 4 Real Madrid forward Cristiano
Ronaldo repeated allegations that referees favour Barcelona
after his side were eliminated from the Champions League by
their bitter rivals in the semi-finals on Tuesday.
UEFA are probing comments by Real coach Jose Mourinho after
last week's first leg when he suggested there was a conspiracy
at European soccer's governing body to help Barca.
The Catalan club won the match at the Bernabeu 2-0 and a 1-1
draw at a rain-lashed Nou Camp on Tuesday was enough to send
them through to the final on May 28 in London where they will
play Manchester United or Schalke 04.
"We knew we could beat Barca, but the referee didn't let
us," Ronaldo, who became the world's most expensive player when
he joined Real from United at the end of the 2008/09 season,
"Once again it was the referee that didn't allow us to
dictate the outcome," he added.
"The referee in the first match (Wolfgang Stark) took away
our chances of playing the final. Whoever knows anything about
football knows that Barcelona get preferential treatment."
Real were furious that striker Gonzalo Higuain had what they
felt was a legitimate goal disallowed by referee Frank De
Bleeckere shortly after halftime with the score tied at 0-0.
De Bleeckere ruled that Ronaldo had fouled Barca's former
Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano, who was playing in
central defence on Tuesday, shortly before Higuain curled the
ball past Victor Valdes into the net.
"Higuain's goal was good," said Ronaldo, who scored the
winner in a 1-0 victory over Barca in the King's Cup (Copa del
Rey) final last month.
"(Gerard) Pique pushed me and I landed on Mascherano. He
didn't used to fall to the ground in England, but he's picked up
the bad habit of doing it here like everyone else."
Ronaldo pointed to the domestic Cup win, the second of four
"Clasicos" between the clubs in three competitions in 18 days,
as evidence that Real were capable of beating Barca when the
officials were neutral.
"Barcelona have a lot of power off the pitch," he said.
"There are no differences between the teams as was seen
throughout the four matches.
"We won the Copa del Rey by playing fairly. I don't feel
that Barcelona were better than us, but rather that they have a
lot of help from the referees."
Barca have an eight-point lead over Real at the top of La
Liga with four games left and are closing in on a third
consecutive Spanish league title.
(Editing by Peter Rutherford; To query or comment on this story
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