Rafael Benitez speaks out on advice to Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric while at Real Madrid

Real Madrid and Rafael Benitez did not enjoy the most fruitful six months together, with the latter being dismissed in January. While results were not awful, save for a 5-0 defeat to Barcelona, there were widespread reports that he had lost the dressing room.

In particular, the stars of Real Madrid did not appreciate Benitez’s corrections to their game. Most famously, it was rumoured that he had told Luka Modric to use the outside of his foot less, despite the fact it is one of the Croatian’s best attributes.

Speaking on Cadena SER, Benitez was keen to set the record straight.

“Once I told Modric that in a three-meter pass you play it with the inside so that the ball gets to your teammate clean, without spin. That is a comment in training, but when you want to make things sound a certain way, you make them sharper.”

Benitez also complained of many lies told about him regarding Cristiano Ronaldo.

“The only comment I made to Ronaldo, as I knew him from United, is that we analysed how he took free-kicks. We analysed the trajectory, we see if we can make any adjustments, we saw that we couldn’t and we forgot about it. It’s my only conversation with him. Everything else is a lie. When he takes the free-kicks, when I leave, his statistics are worse. I was surprised that journalists I knew said that without talking to me.”

In fairness to Benitez, Ronaldo’s success rate was dipping dramatically at that point in his career.

Benitez would go on to point the finger at a number of players for their behaviour later on in the interview too. The former Valencia and Liverpool manager clearly did not feel he was treated fairly by the squad at the Santiago Bernabeu. Equally there is a definite sense that many of the Real Madrid squad felt patronised by Benitez, even if the leaked reports did ‘sharpen’ the truth.

Tags Al-Nassr Cristiano Ronaldo Liverpool Luka Modric Manchester United Rafael Benitez Real Madrid
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