Cristiano Ronaldo greeted the news of Rafael Benitez’s sacking on Monday with a mixed reaction. On one hand, the Real Madrid superstar was delighted the Spanish coach was finally gone - but on the other, he was immensely frustrated that so much time had been wasted.
This is according to Catalan newspaper Sport, who understand that Ronaldo is one of the happiest players in the dressing room following Benitez’s dismissal.
The relationship between the two men was reportedly non-existent - to the point that Ronaldo had made it crystal clear to Florentino Perez that he wanted the former Liverpool boss gone.
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Once it was confirmed Perez had sacked Benitez and replaced the Spaniard with the inexperienced Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo is understood to have said: “We have lost a lot of time with this.”
Ronaldo wasn’t the only Real Madrid player to feel a sense of relief after Benitez was sacked earlier this week, according to reports. The former ex-Inter Milan and Chelsea head coach also clashed with James Rodriguez, Sergio Ramos, Isco, Karim Benzema, Jese and Denis Cheryshev during his turbulent seven-month spell in charge of Los Blancos.
Can Zidane inspire Ronaldo and co.?
As Sport state, this is not the first time that Ronaldo has fallen out with one of his managers at Real Madrid. His relationship with Jose Mourinho also broke down during the end of the Portuguese coach’s three-year spell at the Bernabeu.
It will be fascinating to see how Ronaldo fares working under Zidane - Ronaldo was unhappy with comments made by the newly-appointed Real Madrid boss back in 2013 - but the French coach’s reputation in the game should mean he commands a huge amount of respect from the squad.
Zidane is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, but little is known at this stage about his capabilities as a coach.
The 43-year-old takes charge of Real Madrid for the first time on Saturday, as Los Blancos go head-to-head with Deportivo at the Bernabeu.
Will Zinedine Zidane last until the end of the season? Let us know by leaving a comment below.