‘Ronaldo & Bale haven’t made demands’

Rafa Benitez insists Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale have not made demands about where they want to play in his new-look Real Madrid.

The former Liverpool and Napoli boss was believed to be readying a switch to 4-2-3-1, with the Welshman reportedly keen on a central role and the No 7 eyeing up Karim Benzema’s place in attack.

“As I said on the day of my unveiling, to a large degree the players you have influence how you’re going to play,” he told Madrid’s official website.

“We have attacking players, so our style of play will be attacking. You have to draw a distinction between style of play and formation.

“Many people believe that the players’ position on the pitch, 4-4-2, 4-3-3, is a style of play and that’s not the case.

“Our style of play will be based on playing attacking football, having possession of the ball whenever we can, attacking by moving the ball quickly, looking not to lose balance between attack and defence, showing a positive sort of aggression and adapting to a range of formations if necessary.

“We’ll try to impose our brand of football, but we have to be able to deal with other alternatives if required.

“That’s the difference between style of play, basically an attacking one in our case, and formation, which will be the players’ position on the pitch.

“As we said before, my backroom team and I have been following the players and have been in contact with them from the first moment.

“So, firstly I have to say that the attitude to their work that they’ve all shown me, Sergio [Ramos], Iker [Casillas], Cristiano [Ronaldo], [Gareth] Bale, Pepe, [Raphael] Varane, everyone, has been excellent.

“The first thing I’ve done is listen, find out what went well and not so well last year, their impressions, what in their opinion could be improved and what they'd like to be done.

“I’ve done the same with all the technical staff and professionals at the club and, with all that information, once all together we'll decide what's best for the team and for every one of them.

“They’ve all shown a very good attitude to their work and I’ve conveyed to them that they will have all the technical staff will be there for them for anything they need.

“In fact, we’re in contact with the injured players to gain all the time we can before training starts. In terms of who'll play and where, as I said, we have to get together, train together, and then we’ll decide.

“Contrary to what is being said, Iker, Sergio, Cristiano, Isco, Bale, none of them are demanding to play here or there, among other reasons because we haven’t yet decided the most appropriate system with which to try to get the most out of each player.

“They have to feel at ease on the pitch to give us the best they can.”

Tags Cristiano Ronaldo Gareth Bale Rafa Benitez Rafael Benitez