It is a “joke” to say that Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid are in a state of crisis, Las Palmas star Vitolo has said.
The Spain international winger will go head-to-head with Zinedine Zidane’s side on Sunday and he believes that the recent slump they have been in is little more than a blip.
Ronaldo, in particular, has been criticised for scoring only one La Liga goal so far this season, but the 28-year-old says that it is disrespectful of the Ballon d’Or winner to suggest that he is in trouble.
"To say that about a player who has scored the number of goals Cristiano Ronaldo has is a joke. He is a great player and we know what he is capable of, he can score at any moment,” he told Marca.
He was similarly forthright about his views on Madrid, who suffered a shock loss against Girona last weekend before succumbing to Tottenham 3-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
"You can't say that Real Madrid are in crisis for losing two matches, it is true they aren't used to this situation but it can happen to any team. They will make the match very difficult for us,” he said.
Despite Madrid lagging behind Barca by 11 points, he believes beating them still represents a major challenge to a side that finds itself second from bottom of the league, having lost eight of their first 10 games.
"Well the best thing that can happen is that they do not have their best day and we do,” he admitted. “We have to make the fewest possible mistakes and work hard for the entire match. We know what it means to play in a stadium like the Santiago Bernabeu."