Updated: Tuesday, 10 December 2013 03:18 | By Agence France-Presse

Greenpeace banner interrupts Madrid press conference

A banner from environmental activists Greenpeace protesting at Russian oil giant Gazprom's exploration in the Arctic interrupted a Real Madrid press conference ahead of their Champions League clash away to FC Copenhagen on Monday.


Greenpeace banner interrupts Madrid press conference

A Greenpeace banner is seen during a press conference given by Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti (2nd L) and Real Madrid defender Pepe (2nd R) at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark, on December 9, 2013

Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti and defender Pepe had just begun the press conference in the Danish capital when a banner was lowered behind them which read "Save the arctic, show Gazprom the red card."

The banner was quickly removed by officials before the press conference continued.

Gazprom is an official sponsor of the Champions League and it is not the first time Greenpeace has launched a protest of this type this season.

In October Swiss club FC Basel were fined 30,000 euros when four activists abseiled from the stadium roof to unfurl a banner saying "Don't foul the Arctic," during their Champions League match against Schalke.

Once the press conference restarted, though, normal service was resumed as Pepe backed teammate and compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Ballon d'Or for the second time.

Ronaldo was named as a finalist for the award along with Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich on Monday.

And despite the fact Real failed to win a trophy this year, Pepe believes the award should reward individual rather than collective achievement.

"I think the one that deserves it is Cristiano," he said.

"It is an individual award and this year Cristiano has had an amazing season.

"For example, Spain won the World Cup in 2010 and a Spanish player didn't win it and there are many other examples."

Ancelotti, meanwhile, confirmed Ronaldo will return to face the Danish champions on Tuesday after missing the last three games through injury and suspension.

Real have already secured their place in the last 16 as group winners, but the Italian is determined the end of the group on a high and said he will name his strongest available side.

That means Gareth Bale will also return having missed Saturday's 0-0 draw away to lower league Olimpic Xativa in the Copa del Rey due to the flu.

"Bale has recovered. He had a little problem on Friday night but he will be completely fine to play tomorrow," said Ancelotti.

"Xabi (Alonso) is also available to play and I am going to play the best team possible."

Copenhagen cannot make the knockout rounds of the Champions League due to their inferior head-to-head results against other Group B rivals Juventus and Galatasaray.

However, they can still make the Europa League with a win and Ancelotti is sure Stale Solbakken's men will be desperate to land a famous victory and with it guaranteed European football in the New Year.

"Copenhagen will be a different team to the one that played in Madrid and one desperate to qualify for the Europa League.

"For us it is not an easy game, but we want to finish the group well and win the game."

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