Cristiano Ronaldo's Bernabeu Booing Surprising Given His Scoring Record

Paul WilkesFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2014

Real's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, March 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
Andres Kudacki

Football supporters' actions can often be mystifying and complex, but it's important not to unfairly group people together purely by association.

We are all individuals, and one person's opinion does not necessarily represent the views of everyone. Unfortunately, if a section of fans decide to boo or act in another manner, it's viewed by many as the entire crowd.

There were over 60,000 present at the Bernabeu on the weekend, while watching from afar one could see there were numerous empty seats in a ground that holds upwards of 80,000.

It's not known how many decided to show their displeasure to Cristiano Ronaldo, but even if there were only 100 of them, they would be heard if the rest of the stadium was quiet at the time.

A minority can sound like a majority if there is no vocal opposition. How do you combat booing? Do you simply sing the player's name? But what about those who didn't think he deserved to be booed, but wouldn't go as far as to publicly back him?

Incidents like these take place so quickly that it's often impossible for the other fans within the ground to even process what's happening.

On this particular occasion, the jeering and whistling occurred when Ronaldo was holding onto the ball for too long and not passing it to the unmarked Alvaro Morata in the 76th minute, via the English version of Spanish paper Marca.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti was surprised by the situation: "I understand booing every now and then when we have deserved it, but at the moment the players are making a great effort," said the Italian, via Marca. "We have to keep at it and we need everybody's help. But booing Cristiano is not so easy to understand."

It's a difficult situation for the coach, and he was fairly diplomatic in his response.

He was showing a level of understanding and sympathy for the supporters whilst maintaining his backing for the team's star player. His concern was less for goalkeeper Diego Lopez: "Diego is very focused on his job and I don't think the booing and whistling do him any harm," stated Ancelotti.

The two defeats against Barcelona and Sevilla mean that emotions are running high. The supporters aren't used to losing after 31 games unbeaten.

Ronaldo has had an indifferent relationship with the Bernabeu faithful since his arrival, but he appeared to have turned a corner almost two years ago.

However, his performances and scoring rate have always remained at incredible highs. It's easy to become complacent with that level and to look to him to deliver more when he isn't quite 100 percent.

The reality is that his teammates should be picking up the slack. It's up to those who don't normally rise to the occasion.

Ronaldo has scored in his last nine matches for the club in all competitions. Even if he isn't playing at his best, scoring goals is a valuable commodity for an underperforming player.

The former Manchester United winger is the top scorer in La Liga and the Champions League. You have to accept some of his mannerisms because the good far outweighs the bad.

The Federation of Real Madrid Fan Clubs were quick to distance them from the reaction on Saturday evening. They wrote an open letter to the Portuguese forward offering their support, as reported by Marca.

"You represent to us all the values of Real Madrid: effort, hard work, sacrifice and loyalty," the letter reads. "We were, are and always will be unconditionally by your side; aware as we are of the extraordinary value you give to our team and club."

This minor storm will blow over and will almost certainly end with Ronaldo raising his incredible standards once again.