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Mourinho defends Ronaldo

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has defended star player Cristiano Ronaldo over criticism that he does not celebrate his goals with enough passion.

• Real Madrid 5-1 Granada

Some Madrid fans made their feelings known in the 5-1 win over Granada at the weekend, whistling and jeering their own player after he had scored. The abuse caused Ronaldo to make an angry gesture and walk back to the centre circle with his head bowed, but Mourinho insists that the £80 million man is happy at the Bernabeu.

"He seems fine to me," Mourinho told reporters, ahead of their Copa del Rey last-16 second leg away to Malaga on Tuesday night. "I think it is more relevant that he celebrates the goals that win games and not the fifth goal in the 90th minute.

"I saw him celebrate the other four that were the important ones. If there are going to be criticisms of a player for not celebrating goals, then why not criticise me because I didn't celebrate any of the five goals. I didn't even get up."

In the face of unusually strong criticism from the pro-Real Madrid media over the incident, Mourinho was also keen to play down suggestions that the title race was over after Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Espanyol.

Barca are five points behind Real, but when asked if that was enough for the rest of the season, Mourinho replied: "No, we've lost five points in three days earlier this season. You can easily lose five points in only a few games."

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