MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's referees found an unlikely ally in the form of Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, who said on Thursday that players should show an understanding about the difficulties of the officials' job.
Ramos's comments came after Atletico Madrid were unhappy with their neighbours following the teams' 1-1 derby draw on Sunday in which Real thought they should have been awarded a penalty.
"They (Real) even criticise correct decisions. Some are always used to having things go in their favour," Atletico said on Twitter.
A disciplinary investigation was opened last month into comments made by Barcelona defender Gerard Pique in which he suggested referees favoured Real Madrid.
Ramos, however, suggested the best way forward was to allow them to get on with their jobs in peace.
"I admit that when I haven't liked decisions I've said some things, but the sensible thing is to stay out of it," he said at an event to mark the launch of the "The Legend of Sergio Ramos" Amazon documentary series.
"At the end of the day, they're people and they can make mistakes.
"I'm a defender of VAR because it's there to help (referees). Referees are a part of our sport and they deserve our respect. We should treat them well so they can do the best job they can."
(Reporting by Joseph Walker, editing by Ed Osmond)