Real Madrid coach Ancelotti defends players following Ronaldo birthday party scandal

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MADRID. KAZINFORM - Real Madrid coach Carl Ancelotti refused on Friday to criticize his players for the image some of them gave both during and after last weekend's 4-0 thrashing by Atletico Madrid, Kazinform refers to Xinhuanet.com.

Directly after the game Ancelotti had complained that Real Madrid had been "second best in everything."

However, on Sunday morning Spanish football fans were greeted with images of several players enjoying the festivities at Cristiano Ronaldo's 30th birthday party which was held just hours after that painful defeat.

The photos and videos of several squad members, including James Rodriguez, Sami Khedira, Pepe and Marcelo, singing and dancing were most certainly not what Real Madrid fans wanted to see and club President Florentino Perez visited the club's training ground during the week to ask for explanations.

Speaking to the press on Friday for the first time since last weekend, Ancelotti was also questioned on the affair, but refused to criticize anyone.

"As far as I'm concerned it's a non-issue," he replied. "I've never judged players on their private lives and I'm not about to start today," said the coach, who defended those who attended the party.

"They've always demonstrated their professionalism and they show great commitment when they pull on the shirt," insisted Ancelotti.

"Everyone was frustrated after the game and we've suffered that frustration for a week and I hope that motivates them. They have responded well in training and now we have to wait to see if there's a reaction," said the Madrid coach, who explained Perez's visit that been "positive."

Real Madrid had kicked off the year on the back of a 22-game winning run, but since the turn of 2015 have lost three matches (twice to Atletico Madrid and in Valencia), while their performances in other games have not always been convincing.

Ancelotti admitted his side's intensity dropped after winning the Club World Cup at the end of 2014 and confirmed that Asier Illaramendi would partner Tony Kroos in midfield for Saturday's game at home to Deportivo la Coruna.

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