A "sad" Cristiano Ronaldo refused to revel in his scoring feats on Sunday during Real Madrid's first victory after three rounds of the Spanish season.
Turns out he was apparently sending a cryptic message to unnamed club officials.
As reporters asked him about his two-goal night, Ronaldo solemnly said he didn't celebrate in the team's 3-0 home win over Grenada because he was "sad" for "professional" reasons.
"The people know the reasons why I didn't celebrate the goals," he is quoted as saying by Spanish news agency EFE. "I don't do so when I am feeling sadness. It was due to a professional motive.
"The appropriate people inside the club know why I'm sad. I won't say anything more."
When asked by reporters what, if any, part losing the UEFA Best Player in Europe award to Andres Iniesta on Thursday played in his decision to hold back on his celebration, he firmly said none.
"If I had won the award it wouldn't have surprised me, same thing if I lost it," he said. "The award is the least of the reason. There are more important things."
Ronaldo scored in the 26th and 54th minutes before leaving the field grimacing and favoring his left leg following a tackle by Borja Gomez that cost the Granada defender a second booking.
"Let's see in the next few days if I recover," Ronaldo said, adding he hopes to be ready for Portugal's upcoming World Cup 2014 qualifiers against Luxembourg and Azerbaijan. "I'm not feeling great but I want to go with my national team. I want to play because they are two important qualifiers for us."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.