Ancelotti plays down incident between Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo was visibly fuming after Gareth Bale opted to shoot instead of passing in the second half of a 3-0 victory against Espanyol.

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Gareth Bale angered Real Madrid teammate and FIFA Ballon d’Or hopeful Cristiano Ronaldo for the second La Liga game in a row when he opted to shoot instead of passing in the second half of a 3-0 victory against Espanyol.

Current world player of the year Ronaldo, who will be hoping to pick up the prize for the world’s best footballer for the second year in a row at Monday’s awards ceremony, was fuming after being ignored when well placed in the opposition’s penalty area to add what would have been a third goal at the Bernabeu.

The Portuguese superstar reacted furiously last week after Bale’s weak effort went wide in a similar situation — the $130 million forward chose to go for goal instead of squaring the ball to Karim Benzema in the 2-1 defeat at Valencia. Bale’s actions against the Catalans on Saturday afternoon prompted whistling from home fans and will do nothing to dispel a reputation which has earned the world’s most expensive player the nickname "Ball Hog" in the Spanish media.

Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti played down the incident and noted the Welshman had earlier scored a superb free-kick to put Real 2-0 ahead – his strike sandwiched between James Rodriguez’s opener and Nacho Fernandez’s third.

"Later on the fans wanted him to pass to Cristiano but forwards are determined to score when they are through on the goalkeeper," the Italian said. "Generosity is very important and if someone is being selfish then we will address it. The supporters are very demanding when it comes to the important players and Bale is one of those."

Ancelotti added: "We shouldn’t blow this out of proportion. It’s one moment in a football game. Relations between them (Bale and Ronaldo) and everyone are very good. We are all pursuing the same goal which is to lift Real Madrid as high as possible."

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Victory over Espanyol put Real four points clear of Barcelona at the top ahead of the second-placed club’s game at home to champions Atletico Madrid on Sunday.