MADRID (Reuters) - Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent has defended the FIFA Ballon d‘Or winner after he was criticised for throwing a lavish 30th birthday party on Saturday hours after Real Madrid’s 4-0 La Liga drubbing at Atletico.
Widely published images, which prompted angry reaction from Real fans on social media, showed Portugal captain Ronaldo and team mates including James Rodriguez, Marcelo and Keylor Navas enjoying the festivities.
Real president Florentino Perez was reportedly furious and Spanish media reported the fact that none of Real’s Spanish players attended, including club captains Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, pointed to divisions in the squad.
“Cristiano remains the world’s best professional, the best in history,” Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes told Spanish radio.
“He was very upset at the defeat,” Mendes added.
“He told me that he would be there for a very short time but that he had more than 40 children at the party and had to go.”
Real’s defeat at Atletico, which came after their city rivals dumped them out of the King’s Cup last month, allowed second-placed Barcelona to close to within a point of the La Liga leaders with just over half the season played.
Real coach Carlo Ancelotti described the reverse at the Calderon as his worst in his two seasons in charge and blamed himself for the capitulation.
A weakened defence, missing the injured Pepe and Ramos along with Marcelo through suspension, was torn apart by a rampant Atletico.
Real need to rediscover the form that led them on a Spanish record 22-game winning streak in all competitions at the end of last year before next week’s Champions League last 16, first leg at Bundesliga side Schalke 04.
Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Ed Osmond