Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo claimed the Spanish giants would be top of La Liga rather than nine points behind Barcelona if his team-mates matched his standards.
Ronaldo had a day to forget in front of goal as Real waved goodbye to any lasting hope of mounting a title challenge in a 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid on Saturday with even coach Zinedine Zidane admitting their challenge was over.
“If everyone was at my level, we would be top,” said Ronaldo.
“Every year according to the press it seems I am rubbish, but the numbers and statistics don’t lie.”
Madrid have endured a season from hell as Zidane replaced the sacked Rafael Benitez in January, whilst the club has suffered a series of institutional embarrassments, including being eliminated from the Copa del Rey for fielding an ineligible player.
The final whistle was met by a chorus of discontent from the home fans as they called for president Florentino Perez to resign.
A mounting injury list has also taken its toll as they were without Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Pepe, and Karim Benzema had to be replaced by 18-year-old Borja Mayoral at half-time.
And Ronaldo claimed that, despite Perez’s multi-million euro investment, Madrid don’t have a good enough squad to compete at the top level.
“I don’t want to undervalue any of my teammates, but when the best aren’t there it is difficult to win.”
“I like to play with Pepe, Karim, Bale, Marcelo. I don’t want to say that Jese (Rodriguez), Lucas (Vazquez), (Mateo) Kovavic are not good players, they are very good, but to win a competition you need the best.”