Cristiano Ronaldo suggests he had a frosty relationship with former Real Madrid Coach Rafa Benitez. ‘Sometimes you just say thanks, and that’s it…’
Ronaldo was speaking to La Sexta’s Jugones and was asked about Benitez, who was hired in summer 2015 and sacked in January, replaced by Zinedine Zidane, the programme asking Ronaldo if it was Benitez who taught him how to take a free kick and drawing a laugh from the Portuguese.
“You can always learn from your Coaches. Some things can be learned and not others. I saw different things from him than from other Coaches, but obviously there are things no one can teach you. You’ve either got it or you haven’t,” Ronaldo replied, AS reports.
“You can get something positive from Coaches. I’m not only talking about free kicks but how you strike the ball, how you dribble, but that’s their thing.
“Benitez would say ‘ok.’ There are some things you can’t debate with someone else because you think differently, so you just say thanks and that’s it.
“Zidane is smart. He doesn’t talk a lot. The ones who talk a lot don’t pay a lot of attention. He’s shy but very positive. I identify with these people. He is very professional. I hope he wins his first Champions League as a Coach and stays for years. He hasn’t got a lot of experience as a Coach but he’s finding his way well, his style and I like it.”
Zidane leads Madrid in to Saturday’s final against Atletico Madrid and Ronaldo believes it would be a ‘failure’ if Los Blancos were to lose.
“Yes, it might be. But if we win it means the season has been excellent, and to lose is a failure. They’re the two points. I’d prefer to end with a season at the top. We will win the Champions League,” he predicted, before referring to himself in the third person when discussing his fitness.
“Cristiano always plays the games that count. I’ll be 100%. I’ll be better on Saturday than in Lisbon [in the 2014 final also against Atletico]. My hamstring was full of pain then. It’s terrible because there are times you know you can give more but you don’t because your body won’t allow it.
“I like to play. People say to me ‘Cris, you’re not 20…’ I have to learn to stop every few games. 3am ice baths? They make me feel good. If I go out with my friends, I have one when I get home because I feel good.”