Real Madrid's Spanish international
defenders Ivan Helguera and Michel Salgado leapt to the defence of
out-of-favour teammates David Beckham and Ronaldo.
"Ronaldo's one of the best in the world, if not the best. I don't think
it's fair, the situation he is in," Helguera told Radio Marca.
Helguera himself was also frozen out at the start of the season and had
to train with Real's reserve team before winning over Italian coach
He said he thought Ronaldo and Beckham had not been well-treated and
still had something to offer.
"I also went through that. You have to be fair and respectful with
people who try to give their all, especially a club as great as Real
Madrid," added Helguera.
Salgado said at a press conference on Wednesday that it might be rash to
sideline a clutch of players with half the season still to play.
"The coach decides who will play more often and who less but this is a
squad and to leave three or four players on the outside five months
before the end of the season is not good for the squad," he said.
Beckham had only started a handful of league games this season prior to
announcing his summer move to Los Angeles Galaxy on January 11.
Capello responded two days later by saying that Beckham would never play
again for the Spanish giants.
Ronaldo, his appearances blighted first by injury and now by the fact
the club want to get him off their books, with AC Milan apparently
chasing the three-time World Player of the Year, is also now on the
outside looking in.
"This is a decision not by the players but by the coach and the club. I
can't say more than it's a luxury to leave out a player of this type (Ronaldo),
but I'm sure they have their reasons," added Salgado.
Capello has turned his attention in the last month to new signings
Gonzalo Higuain and Fernando Gago as Real bid to win a major title for
the first time in four seasons.
The young Argentine pair arrived during the winter transfer window and
have made an immediate impression, which will have heighted the
discomfort of Beckham and Ronaldo, and the exit of the two 'galacticos'
now seems imminent.