Ronaldo believes UEFA protect Barcelona

Cristiano Ronaldo agrees with banned coach Jose Mourinho that

Barcelona is given preferential treatment by UEFA after Real Madrid

was eliminated from the Champions League with Tuesday’s 1-1

draw.

Madrid missed out on a place in the final after losing the

two-legged series 3-1 overall, although questionable referee

decisions against Madrid in both legs took their toll.

Belgian referee Frank De Bleeckere waived away Gonzalo Higuain’s

goal before Pedro Rodriguez notched Barcelona’s opener after

judging Ronaldo fouled Javier Mascherano despite being pushed into

the Argentine.

”Barcelona is very well protected – we knew something would

happen,” Ronaldo said. ”(Higuain’s) goal was legal. Pique pushed

me and I fell on top of Mascherano, who never went to the ground in

England, but here he’s learned that trade like the rest of

them.”

Mourinho was banned for criticizing UEFA after the first leg

when Pepe was red carded in the 61st minute. Barcelona scored both

goals after that and Madrid accused its rival of feigning injuries

to draw bookings.

The hostile atmosphere leading into the game even led UEFA to

send head of referees Pierluigi Collina to the match at the Camp

Nou. UEFA is studying six reports against the two clubs.

Madrid’s players were all visibly upset after the game and

captain Iker Casillas and midfielder Xabi Alonso were among those

venting against De Bleeckere.

”That would have been the first step in the comeback,” Alonso

said. ”We’re upset, hurt to not go through because of so many

wrong decisions.”

Barcelona will now play in the May 28 final at Wembley, with

Manchester United leading Schalke 2-0 in the other semifinal.

”We knew if we scored a goal they would do everything possible

so we wouldn’t get through. This isn’t good for football. If things

don’t improve we should just stay home and let Barcelona play by

themselves,” Ronaldo added.

”Next year they should just give the cup directly to

Barcelona.”

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