Real Madrid's Brazilian midfielder Casemiro looks on during the Spanish Copa del Rey (King's Cup) semi-final second leg football match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on February 27, 2019.
"We cannot talk about a player who is not here," Casemiro said of Ronaldo, who moved to Juventus last summer.
"A week ago we talked about [Karim] Benzema being the best nine, Vinicius, Lucas [Vazquez]... we cannot talk about Cristiano because he's not a Madrid player.
We missed a goal, but the top players are doing everything very well, especially Karim, who is making his best season at Madrid.
Casemiro did not want to lay any blame at the door of Vinicius – the 18-year-old forward, who has come into the team to try and plug the gap left by Ronaldo – even though the Brazilian attempted five fruitless shots in the first half.
"Speaking only about him is unfair,” added Casemiro. “He is daring, courageous and not afraid of anything. His level is spectacular for his age."