Ronaldo relegated to Real bench for Valencia match

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MADRID, Mar 11 (Reuters) Brazil striker Ronaldo was dropped to the bench for Real Madrid's crucial league match against Valencia at the Mestalla today.

The three-times World Player of the Year was left out of the squad for last weekend's match against city rivals Atletico Madrid, which Real won 2-1, but was recalled for the last 16 Champions League match with Arsenal on Wednesday.

He had a poor game against the Londoners and Real went out 1-0 on aggregate after a goalless draw at Highbury.

The 29-year-old has been disappointing for Real this season and hinted he may leave at the end of the season because he is unhappy with criticism he has received from the fans.

Real coach Juan Ramon Lopez Caro also left forwards Antonio Cassano and Robinho on the bench and instead chose Raul and Julio Baptista to lead the front line.

Real and Valencia are tied in second place in the Primera Liga in the race for an automatic Champions League place with 51 points, 10 behind leaders and reigning champions Barcelona.

Reuters OM VP0255

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