Jorge Valdano has explained why he rates Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid so highly and has praised Tata Martino for his adjustment to life at Barcelona.
The former player, Coach and sporting director at the Santiago Bernabeu this week has reflected on Ronaldo’s continued goalscoring record with Los Blancos of a goal every game.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest example in the world of professionalism, the sense of perfection and ambition,” mused Valdano to reporters at the presentation of his new book.
“Messi owes his father and his mother a lot more than Cristiano Ronaldo owes his father and mother, as Cristiano Ronaldo in each passing year is better because he aims to be better and works to be better.
“Personally, I consider him to be an excellent person whose personal relationship has nothing to do with the image people have of him in public. He is an excellent person and an outstanding player.
“The best thing that Real Madrid have done in the past five years is to have renewed Ronaldo’s contract. Right now he is the direction for Real Madrid.”
Valdano was asked of the current run of form Barcelona find themselves in under Tata Martino’s lead.
“This is a very simple-minded man, who is very clear and who also communicates calmly.
“He is trying to recover the aspects of Barcelona’s game that they had lost last season due to a lack of leadership and he is doing with a certain calmness, but progressing interestingly.
“It has helped that Neymar has fitted in very naturally into the team. Already in recent games Neymar has looked like Neymar and that is very difficult at Barcelona for a guy who is 21.
“He has also recovered Alexis Sanchez, who was a player who had had a crisis of confidence but who has since come on very strong and now seems more impartial when he plays.
“This is a Coach, clearly, that has not always worked in institutions comparable to Barcelona, but he has not felt altitude sickness, even as his arrival was totally unexpected.
“His rise was rapid. He has climbed the 8,000 metres in five minutes and has had no issues with adjustment.”
Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti has not fared as consistently with rivals Real Madrid.
“We are at the beginning, this is a process of discovery, which is normal, but with the club’s two rivals cruising at a higher level, that creates some anxiety, some uncertainty and that type of conflict always surrounds Real Madrid when they are not perfect.
“You have to learn to learn to live with that because otherwise it will force you out of the club.”