World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo has complained that the timing of the first El Clasico of the season on Saturday gives La Liga leaders Barcelona an unfair advantage.

Ronaldo scored his 70th Champions League goal as Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-0 away on Wednesday to all but seal their place in the last 16.

However, Barca played at home and 24 hours earlier in dismissing Ajax 3-1, which Ronaldo believes will be beneficial to the Catalans.

“The best thing would be for the game to be on Sunday, but I don’t want to use that as an excuse,” the Portuguese captain told reporters.

“A footballer at the highest level knows that two days is not the same as three days, but it is not an excuse because we are going to play well and win.”

The decision to play the game on a Saturday following a Champions League week is all the more baffling as both sides have a relatively quiet week following the clash at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Barcelona don’t play again until next weekend, whilst Real begin their defence of the Copa del Rey away to minnows UE Cornella on Wednesday.

“I don’t understand because the fixtures are decided a long time in advance. I don’t understand, with all respect the first games of the Cup are not as important as a Clasico.

“To play here at Anfield in a very difficult game and then play at six o’clock on Saturday it is very difficult. In my opinion the game ought to be on Sunday.

“There should be more attention to these small details. Twenty-four hours of a difference is a big difference, but, as I said before, I don’t want to use it as an excuse because they team is playing well, is confident and we will do our best to win.” – Agence France-Presse

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