Benitez gets Ronaldo backing

Cristiano Ronaldo is at a loss to explain Real Madrid fans’ unhappiness with Rafa Benitez, and denied he was obsessed with winning the Ballon d’Or.

Ronaldo, speaking after setting a new record for goals in the Champions League group stage after hitting four past Malmo to take his seasonal tally to 11, accepted complaints were inevitable but suggested they were unfair.

“It’s a good night. We haven’t won anything and we’ve only progressed from the group stage. I’m not going to lie, I’m happy to beat the record but the important thing is to improve game by game. The midfield and defence are good,” he said, Marca reports.

“I feel good. We’re improving, we’ve got five wins in a row. On a personal note maybe I started a little below my level, but I’ve had some problems. I feel better physically and mentally.

“Hopefully I can help with goals and assists. That is the most important thing to me. I’m not obsessed with the Ballon d’Or. That doesn’t even deserve a response.

“After the Clasico we realised things had to change. It’s not what we wanted, we didn’t play well, but maybe it was a good wake-up call. We’ll learn. I’ll take the positives.

“I’m very happy [for Karim Benzema] because he’s been through a difficult situation on a personal level. These two games have been good for Madrid and good for him. He’s scoring goals and that’s what’s important.

“Benitez is doing a good job, he’s adapting well and has to be given time. We’ve got five straight wins and we’re getting better. Criticism is normal at a club like this, when things aren’t going well people criticise, but Benitez has to be given time.

“It’s strange things haven’t been good for us. Injuries, Karim, [Copa del Rey expulsion] against Cadiz, everything is going against us.

“Slowly things are getting better. Staying at a high sporting level is important. Everything is calmer and that’s necessary to work.”

Tags Cristiano Ronaldo Rafa Benitez