Mourinho defends Ronaldo after criticism

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The Independent Football

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has defended Cristiano Ronaldo after Portugal's exit from this summer's World Cup finals in South Africa.

Ronaldo proved to be somewhat ineffective against Spain as Portugal lost 1-0 in the last-16 clash, leaving many people under-whelmed by the former Manchester United player's performances.

National team coach Carlos Queiroz was unimpressed with Ronaldo's role during the tournament, but Mourinho has leapt to the player's defence.

Speaking to Marca, he said: "I will not allow all the responsibilities of the team to fall on Ronaldo. In my teams, when we win, we all win, and when we lose, I lose - so Ronaldo can relax and enjoy his holidays."

Elsewhere in Spain, Espanyol legend Raul Tamudo has finally left the club after slipping out of the first-team picture under coach Mauricio Pochettino last term.

The 32-year-old striker is the club's all-time record goalscorer after notching 129 times during his 13 years in Barcelona.

Things turned sour when he was stripped of the captaincy at the start of last season, with defender Daniel Jarque handed the armband.

Tragically, Jarque then suffered a heart attack and died when the squad were on a pre-season tour of Italy.

Tamudo was snubbed again though as Pochettino offered Ivan De La Pena the honour and, after making just six appearances, he said his farewells in their final La Liga home game of the season against Osasuna.

He also made 13 appearances for Spain, scoring five goals in the process.