Ronaldo unhappy with Benitez training at Real Madrid
The first cracks in the relationship between Cristiano Ronaldo and his new coach at Real Madrid, Rafael Benitez, have begun to open, according to reports in Spain.
Ronaldo - who notoriously tweeted his support for his previous manager, Carlo Ancelotti, just before he was sacked at the end of last season - is currently with Real on their pre-season tour of Australia.
The La Liga club face Manchester City in a pre-season friendly in Melbourne on Friday, but their preparations have been disrupted by claims that Ronaldo is unhappy with Benitez's methods of training.
As, the Spanish newspaper, reported that Ronaldo - whose unhappiness at Real has been a subject of much speculation all summer - was angry with one of Benitez's training drills, which saw him ask players to strike the crossbar from distance. They quoted him as saying on the field: "It’s meant to be the ball in there, in the net. Not this s---."
Ronaldo was also alleged to have been unhappy with Benitez's refereeing of a training match, with Spanish TV cameras recording him saying: “He gives everything against the Portuguese” and also recording an outburst after Benitez disallowed one of his goals.
Benitez appeared entirely unconcerned by suggestions Ronaldo might not be happy, and used a press conference in Australia to heap praise on the player - whom he had previously described as 'only' one of the best players in the world. That jarred with what has become the politically cute response of previous Real coaches, who habitually lauded him as the planet's greatest, mindful of his special status at the club.
“My relationship with him is the same as the rest of the players - I speak to them all," Benitez said, when asked about the nature of his relationship with Ronaldo. "There are those who are speculating on this or that but I can assure you that the relationship is totally normal.
“Fortunately after working with him you can see how competitive he is and how keen he is to win. He is a competitive guy and that’s the key. This is a positive thing not a defect.
"He has great quality and that’s what makes him the best player in the world.
"I wish all the players had the same enthusiasm to compete and win. He shows this on a day by day basis and I’m delighted with him.”