Real Madrid's Ramos: La Liga conspiracy theorists 'imagining things'

VAR controversy adds fuel to Real Madrid ref conspiracy (1:59)

Shaka Hislop believes Real Madrid's opening goal against Mallorca clearly should've been brought back by VAR. (1:59)

Sergio Ramos has hit out at the "noise" surrounding Real Madrid's title bid, saying talk of referees helping out the La Liga leaders is "imagining things."

Ramos, 34, scored a free kick as Madrid beat Mallorca 2-0 on Wednesday to maintain their advantage over rivals Barcelona -- level on 68 points, with a superior head-to-head record.

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Last week, Barca's Gerard Pique hinted officials were favouring Real Madrid in the title race before the team benefited from key decisions going their way in a win at Real Sociedad on Sunday.

"All the noise that's being made is because we're leaders now," Ramos told Movistar. "When we weren't, people didn't talk so much. Referees and VAR are here to help... I don't think they take any predetermined decisions. The noise needs to stop. It's as if we should be thanking the referees for being leaders. People shouldn't be imagining things."

The Real Madrid defender is enjoying his best-ever goal scoring season, having found the net eight times in this La Liga campaign.

"Football is a team sport," he said. "But on a personal level, statistics and personal challenges motivate me and make me proud. It's a reward for consistency, for a lot of years of hard work."

Coach Zinedine Zidane also praised Ramos' contribution.

"I'm happy with his goal," he said. "He's our captain and our leader. He always shows us the way. He practices taking free kicks, so to score one is satisfying for him and for us... I always tell him he has to retire here."

Real Madrid have played four games in eleven days, winning all of them, since the return of La Liga. They have seven more to play in a hectic schedule before the domestic season ends on July 19.

"You could see the tiredness in the team today, with games every three days," Ramos said. "The recovery time is what it is. There will only be one 'coronavirus league' and we want to win it, as a reward for all the effort we've put in to keep playing during these months.

"We aren't able to train too much," Zidane added. "We can't do exactly what we want. We're playing every three days. The attitude today was impressive. Now we have seven finals left. It's true that we're noticing tiredness after so many games. But it's the same for every team, it's a special situation, with the heat as well. We have to face it."