Hindustan Times (Delhi)
Loss to Leganes in Copa leaves Real with just Europe to fight for
MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo tweeted his encouragement for his club and their fans on Thursday, hours after Real Madrid suffered a humiliating elimination by lowly Leganes in the Copa del Rey.
“Courage team. Courage Madrid fans. We still have many battles to win,” wrote Ronaldo in his official Twitter account.
Accompanying the post was a photo of the team training the day after the debacle which left Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane clinging to the Champions League as their only lifeline in a sinking season.
Real lost 2-1 at home and were eliminated on away goals in the cup quarter-finals by a club nicknamed the “pepineros” (or cucumber growers) and only in their second season in La Liga.
“This is a disaster for me,” Zidane said on Wednesday night after the loss to Leganes.
A Real Madrid side filled with back-up players was, the sports daily Marca wrote, “disorganised, lacking tenacity, without leadership in the middle and with a depressed (Karim) Benzema at the front of an army without ammunition.”
Real, who started the game with a 1-0 lead from the away leg, let slip the second potential trophy of the season after effectively bidding adios to the league, where they trail Barcelona by 19 points.
“This is a serious setback for Zidane, because it highlights the squad’s malaise and collective discouragement,” wrote the editor of the newspaper AS.
‘IT IS NOT PHYSICAL, BUT MENTAL PROBLEM’
“I do not think it’s a physical problem, the mind is much more powerful and, in the general analysis, you can put the mental first when presenting the problem to the doctor,” said captain Sergio Ramos after the Leganes debacle.