One of the main talking points from the start of this 2017/18 season has been the quality of refereeing in Spain and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez believes there is room for improvement.
Los Blancos were unhappy about the sanction applied to Cristiano Ronaldo after he was sent off during the Supercopa de Espana, but Perez is also generally unhappy with the state of officiating.
“The refereeing class could clearly be improved,” he said to Cadena SER’s ‘El Larguero’ programme on Thursday night.
“Sometimes it’s not at the top [level], as happened in that Real Madrid and Barcelona match.”
“I have never spoken badly of referees and I did not tell [interim Spanish FA president Juan Luis] Larrea that the referees were treating Real Madrid unfairly.
“What I said was that it didn’t make sense that the talk was about the referee after a match as big as Barcelona against Real Madrid.”
Another big issue which was addressed during the interview with the club president was the case of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was believed to want a move away from the club, at least during the early part of the summer.
“I don’t know what went on with Cristiano Ronaldo,” he explained.
“There was some report that came out from [Portuguese newspaper] A Bola.
“Given that there wasn’t much to talk about over the summer, they overstepped the mark.
“He was upset about the tax issue, but no news of him wanting to leave reached me, as he said he was very happy here.
“It was all forgotten and he went on holiday.
“In Monaco he made things clear, saying that he is happy at Real Madrid and he will play in the Champions League on Wednesday, so there’s nothing more to do than see how excited he is to start [the season].”
Staying on the topic of Ronaldo, Perez was asked about
his legal troubles and if there might be a wage increase from Real Madrid on the cards
“That is an absurd discussion,” he answered.
“The information I have says that there wasn’t anything he did that could constitute a crime.
“Everybody is obliged to pay the taxman, but Ronaldo came with the same structure he had set up in England and he didn’t hide anything, so there is no crime.
“It is a discussion that will last a long time and there will be time to see what happened.
“What did happen is that Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world.”
Perez was also asked about some of the other players in the squad, such as the in-form Isco and the out-of-form Gareth Bale.
“Isco arrived here when he was very young and all he has done is improve,” the club president boasted.
“He is currently playing as we believed he would turn out.
“We will be announcing his contract renewal in the coming days, a renewal which is a done deal.
“[As for Bale], he is one of the best players we have and we are very pleased with him.
“There were no offers for him and what [Jose] Mourinho said about him was just said in a complimentary way.
“Every player is transferable right now and we’ll see what happens in a year, although I don’t know what’ll happen next year, just as nobody does.”
Finally, Perez spoke in general terms about Los Blancos’ current state and he was very pleased to see them pick up where they left off at the end of 2016/17, winning the UEFA Super Cup and the Supercopa de Espana.
“I think Real Madrid have always had great players and I am obliged to make sure it stays that way,” he said.
“It is true that to win three of the past four Champions Leagues is not an easy thing.
“We are currently going through an era which we haven’t experienced before and a major factor in that is Zinedine Zidane.”
With the dream of winning six trophies in one season still alive, there could soon be even more for Florentino Perez to smile about.