Home » Champ League, Latest » Cristiano Ronaldo calls Mascherano a ‘cheat’

Cristiano Ronaldo delivered the most withering put-down as the Barcelona-Real Madrid feud resumed on a stormy night at the Camp Nou. “Javier Mascherano wasn’t like this at Liverpool. He must have learned all these cheating tricks at Barcelona,” the Real striker said of his former rival from their Premier League days.

Real left Barcelona still trying to settle scores as Pep Guardiola’s team progressed to the final at Wembley on 28 May. Ronaldo, who made his name at Manchester United, tangled with Mascherano often when the pair were in England and was sure to leave his mark on his old rival as Barça weighed up a probable clash with United after their 3-1 aggregate victory.

José Mourinho’s side were upset by the disallowing of Gonzalo Higuaín’s 47th-minute goal after Mascherano tumbled theatrically to the turf following contact from a falling Ronaldo, who himself had been tripped. That would have put Real 1-0 up on the night, and Xabi Alonso, who was also at Liverpool, said: “[Had] we scored the first goal it would have been totally different and we feel so many bad decisions have been made against us and we are not happy about that. We think we did a good job but decisions went against us, we really feel that way.”

Warming to the theme Ronaldo said: “There was nothing wrong with the goal, that could have altered the course of the match but the referee didn’t want to see it that way. Those who know about football know that Barcelona are very well protected. We just have to live with these injustices.

“We knew if we scored a goal they would do everything possible so we wouldn’t get through. This isn’t good for football. If things don’t improve we should just stay home and let Barcelona play by themselves. Next year they should just give the cup directly to Barcelona.”

Aitor Karanka, Mourinho’s assistant, added: “If what happened the other day [in the first leg] hadn’t happened – if Pepe hadn’t been dismissed – we could have been there [in the final].”

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