Ronaldo, the 40-goal striker who's whistled by his own fans

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The Independent Football

Well placed to win his first Spanish league title and with 21 goals to his name leaving him on course to break last season's 40-goal haul, Cristiano Ronaldo should have plenty to smile about. He has even got the supporters singing his's just a shame they're not Real Madrid supporters.

While Manchester United fans continue to pay homage with bursts of "Viva Ronaldo" at Old Trafford, the closest thing the Portuguese international gets to a reaction at the Bernabeu are whistles from a noisy minority.

"They are a very demanding crowd," said Iker Casillas this week and various former Real players have lined up to reel off the names of previous victims.

The common theme among targets from the past is a perceived arrogance – Michel, Guti, the Brazilian striker Ronaldo have all tasted the same medicine.

The current Ronaldo, for all his posturing, can't win, it seems. In last week's 5-1 win over Granada he was criticised for not celebrating when he scored the fifth goal. So he's damned if he preens and damned if he doesn't, although Jose Mourinho leapt to his defence.

The Real Madrid manager said: "There are leading players in other teams who couldn't score in five years the number of goals Ronaldo scores in one."

The Barcelona press have jumped on possible unrest, claiming Real are looking to bring in a therapist to help him overcome his "anxiety" in front of goal – some anxiety that's seen him rewrite the record books in his three years at the club.

They also mischievously suggest he might be looking for a way out, claiming he was unhappy at Mourinho mentioning his two glaring misses after the recent defeat to Barcelona. A move is not on the agenda – but he must miss his old United supporters.