Luxemburgo angered by Ronaldo 'wedding' distraction
Real Madrid coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo
believes the media interest surrounding Ronaldo's Valentine's Day
engagement celebrations has damaged his team's preparations on the eve
of crucial domestic and European games.
"I haven't liked what has happened this week because we have two very
important games coming up," an irate Luxemburgo told a news conference
on Friday. "People have been talking about everything except football."
Real, who are four points behind Primera Liga leaders Barcelona, host
Athletic Bilbao on Saturday before welcoming Juventus in the first leg
of their Champions League first knockout round tie at the Bernabeu next
"People should be talking about Athletic and what a difficult team they
are and how many goals they score, but instead they are talking about
personal matters, like the 'wedding', about what players might leave the
club at the end of the season and which ones are going to arrive.
"Instead, we should be thinking about the league and Champions League.
As coach I don't think we've had the ideal preparation for two such
Ronaldo was late to training on Tuesday and Wednesday this week after
throwing a lavish party at a secluded chateau near Paris to mark his
engagement to Brazilian model Daniella Cicarelli.
It also emerged that he had sustained an injury to his big toe during
He then turned up late to a book launch on Thursday at which an
authorised biography of club president Florentino Perez was presented to
The 28-year-old Brazilian and his fiancee brought affairs to a
standstill when they arrived 55 minutes into the presentation at a
luxury hotel in the centre of Madrid.
The club have fined Ronaldo for his tardy appearances at training but
Luxemburgo said he had not yet made up his mind whether to play the
Brazil striker in the Bilbao game.
"I'm going to think over what I should do but Ronaldo hasn't had a good
week because he has trained very little."
Luxemburgo said Michael Owen was almost certain to start although he
denied that his decision had anything to do with the England striker's
remarks in the press that he was getting frustrated with spending so
much time on the bench.
"I want to make it clear that if Owen does play it isn't because of what
has been said in the newspapers this week. If he plays it will be
because I think he deserves it -- players won't get a place just because
they've been talking to the press.
"I refer to my own work before making my selection choices and not to
the number of interviews a player has done," he said.