Cristiano Ronaldo Backs Zinedine Zidane To Remain Real Madrid Head Coach
Cristiano Ronaldo says Real Madrid players feel “more appreciated” under Zinedine Zidane and has backed the Frenchman to continue as coach.
Zidane was promoted from Real Madrid Castilla to succeed Rafael Benitez in January following the Spaniard’s sacking after seven months in charge.
He has guided Real on a run of 10 consecutive La Liga wins to keep them in the title race, one point behind Atletico Madrid and Barcelona with games to come against Valencia and Deportivo La Coruna.
Ronaldo could be fit to face Manchester City in the second leg of Real’s Champions League semi-final after training on Sunday and Monday and he says the squad feels comfortable working under the former Real Madrid midfielder.
“I think we feel more appreciated under Zidane,” he told UEFA. “We feel his affection, we know he’s in a period of adaptation, but things have come together very quickly and I’m really happy for him.
“I always admired him as a player, and now as a coach as well, for how behaves, how he deals with the players. He’s a coach who I would like to see stay at Real Madrid.”
A hamstring injury forced Ronaldo to miss Real’s first-leg goalless draw at the Etihad, but the forward hopes to be ready for the return fixture on Wednesday.
The Portugal international trained with his team-mates for the first half of Sunday’s session before working individually for the remainder, but he was able to take a full part in Monday’s activities.
He leads the Champions League with 16 goals from 10 appearances this season, but insists his side will not underestimate the challenge posed by City.
“If Manchester City have made it to the semi-finals, it’s because they’re an excellent team,” Ronaldo added. “Knocking out PSG is not an easy task, but they managed to do it. They are a team with very few weaknesses.
“It’s a special competition and the emotions are different too. That’s why I feel every game in the Champions League like it were my first.
“Obviously, winning it is a priority for Real Madrid. We know we face a difficult challenge but anything is possible.”
While the news about Ronaldo looks promising for Madrid, it is less clear whether his fellow forward Karim Benzema will be able to feature against City.
The France international was replaced at half-time in the first leg of the semi-final with a hamstring problem and he was limited to running away from the rest of the group on Monday.
Real midfielder Casemiro, meanwhile, worked inside after picking up a knock in the 1-0 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday.