Rafa Benitez denies there is any problem between Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale and repeats this Real Madrid squad is the best with which he’s worked.
Benitez appeared on Onda Cero’s Al Primer Toque, with his comments reported by Marca, and spoke about Bale and Ronaldo after more claims in the Press the players may not be getting along – in part due to comments by Bale’s agent.
“I always praise my players. The best squad I’ve had is this one. I’ve already decided, when I’m asked if Cristiano is the best player I’ve worked with, I’ll say yes, yes and yes,” Benitez said.
“Cristiano starts matches on the wing, but a little in the penalty area because he has goals. He practices free-kicks and does them very well. It’s a matter of time before he’s scoring them. We have good takers and he is one of them.
“Coaches have to control a group of professionals, but not what their agents say. I talk to the players and when there’s a conflict, it’s solved. There’s no problem between Bale and Cristiano.
“Everything is magnified in Madrid. Sometimes it’s out of jealousy, or to attack. I am surprised.”
Benitez also revealed he has been a long-term admirer of Bale, dating back to when the Wales international was on the books of his first club.
“Back in 2006 I went to see Bolton-Southampton. We transferred a player to Southampton, but they wouldn’t give us Bale,” he recalled from when he was Liverpool manager.
“Then when we tried to buy him, we couldn’t. I’ve known for a long time he was a great player.”