Madrid, Sep 16 : Real Madrid defender Ricardo Carvalho Friday called for referees to give more protection to the club's striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

Carvalho was speaking to Real Madrid television two days after his side won 1-0 away to Dynamo Zagreb in the Champions League.

Ronaldo ended the game needing stitches on an ankle injury after a challenge from Zagreb midfielder Jerko Leko.

Ronaldo criticised Norwegian referee Oddvar Moen for not booking or sending Leko off and also claimed that boos and whistles he had received from the Zagreb crowd were because: "I am rich, handsome and a good player."

Carvalho believes his companion needs more protection on the pitch.

"Cristiano suffered a lot of fouls, we feel as if the referee didn't help us at all. Cristiano has got his ankle in a bad way and it hurts him, so it is normal that he is angry," Carvalho was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

"We all feel bad for him because he is very important for us and you have to protect a player like that, although sometimes that doesn't happen," continued Carvalho.

"It is good for football that good players are present, Cristiano takes a lot of hits and he feels them all the day after," said the defender, who was pleased at his side's start to the season.

"In order to grow, we need to win matches and we want to grow," he said.

Real Madrid's next match is Sunday when they travel to Valencia to face Levante, in the Ciudad de Valencia stadium, a ground they could only draw 0-0 in last season.

Ronaldo is currently a doubtful starter for the game, but will work hard to recover in time.

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