That didn’t take long.
Last week the new Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez said Cristiano Ronaldo was “one of the best in the world” and didn’t even want to commit to saying he is better than Gareth Bale. (“That is like asking my daughter if she prefers my wife or me.”) Now Benitez is totally sold on the greatness of CR7.
“Working with him over this week, you realize how competitive he is and that is why he is the best in the world,” he said during the club’s preseason tour of Australia, according to Sport.
Obviously this revised opinion has nothing whatsoever to do with video emerging of a training session in which Benitez disallowed a Ronaldo goal immediately after the player makes a ludicrously OTT sliding celebration, prompting him to swear at the coach and say he “only sees fouls against the Portuguese players.”
To be fair, it’s always embarrassing when you celebrate a disallowed goal.
But AS reported that Ronaldo was not a fan of Benitez’ light-hearted way to end the session, with players required to hit the crossbar from distance before they could finish, calling it “shit.”
Ronaldo, of course, tweeted a photo of him with ex-boss Carlo Ancelotti in May, after Real had decided to fire him, with the words “Great coach and amazing person. Hope we work together next season.”
So it’s fair to say he wasn’t doing cartwheels when the new coach was appointed.
Benitez’s backtracking makes it pretty clear who the most powerful man in the Real locker room is. And it ain’t the guy with the droopy mustache.