Real Madrid fans' whistles spurred on Cristiano Ronaldo - Zinedine Zidane
MADRID -- Zinedine Zidane said criticism from the Real Madrid fans helped players to "do more" after Cristiano Ronaldo responded to whistles with a four-goal haul in Saturday's 7-1 La Liga win at home to Celta Vigo.
Madrid, who won 3-1 at Levante in midweek, were making their first appearance at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu since last weekend's 1-0 derbi defeat to Atletico, and many in the crowd took the opportunity to vent their frustration at the players.
Zidane's side broke the deadlock through Pepe shortly before half-time, but fans still whistled Ronaldo early in the second half when he misplaced a simple pass.
Shortly afterwards, Ronaldo swerved home a shot from 30 yards, cupping his hand to his ear during the celebration, and he added a further three goals over the next 25 minutes to help his side to a 5-1 lead.
Jese Rodriguez and Gareth Bale added to the scoreline late on, with Iago Aspas having earlier struck for Celta when they were 3-0 down.
Zidane suggested after the match that the fans' whistles had given Ronaldo extra motivation for his remarkable second-half performance.
"I will stick with his performance," Zidane said. "It's part of football that the fans whistle sometimes, not just [at] Cristiano. It is like that. These are demanding fans who know the game well and always want more from their players. That is good to improve, to do more, and we always need to do more.
"Then, you all know Cristiano -- he is capable of putting in four. Few can do that. He is unique."
Ronaldo now has 252 goals in just 228 La Liga games and overtook Athletic Bilbao legend Telmo Zarra to go second in the Spanish league's all-time goal-scoring charts, although he remains some distance behind Lionel Messi's 304.
The Portuguese also now heads the La Liga "Pichichi" and European Golden Boot races for this season with 27 goals.
Asked to compare his own ball-striking technique with Ronaldo's, France legend Zidane said: "I could not say.
"It is unique. It is something that just he has. You say I hit it well ... maybe from closer in, and I never scored four goals, so I don't know the feeling. Few players can have that feeling.
"He is at Madrid, he is strong, he is able to score goals in about 30 minutes. I cannot explain more than that. I am happy when I see him scoring goals."
Madrid fans unhappy with how the season is developing had a banner calling for club president Florentino Perez to "listen to the stadium and resign," although it was quickly removed by stadium security.
The moment "Listen to the stadium & resign Florentino" banner was unfurled.- AS English (@English_AS) March 5, 2016
It lasted for 30" as security removed it pic.twitter.com/vva2QI8FiI
Another banner -- which cited Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano's famous phrase "To wear this badge, you have to sweat the shirt" -- was allowed to remain in place.
The mood inside the stadium changed in the second half and Zidane said Ronaldo's first goal had made a difference.
"There was something said at half-time, of course, but in the first half the opponent played too," he said. "They are a good team. We knew it would be difficult to play well for 90 minutes.
"In the second half we came out very strong, pressed more up front, and then always when you score a goal it is easier."
Bale, meanwhile, showed no ill-effects of the calf injury that had kept him sidelined for almost two months during his 25-minute run-out.
The Wales international looks set to start now in Tuesday's Champions League round-of-16 second leg at home to Roma, with Madrid 2-0 up from the first leg.
"[Bale] was good, we spoke and he was happy above all to play after so long out," Zidane said. "He was happy with the game he played, even if just a short time. I believe he is ready now to play but we will see, tomorrow and Monday, to prepare Tuesday's game. But I believe he is ready."
Madrid remain in third place in La Liga, nine points adrift of leaders Barcelona, and one behind second-placed Atletico, with Barca and Atleti in action on Sunday at Eibar and Valencia respectively.