Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has refused to be drawn into a war of words with former manager Rafa Benitez and aimed a subtle dig at him after the Spanish boss criticised the way the club is run.
Benitez was dismissed as Madrid manager at the start of January despite only being appointed seven months previously, being replaced by club legend Zinedine Zidane.
The Spaniard boss was working as a pundit during Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over AS Roma on Wednesday night and hit out at club president Florentino Perez claiming that the club’s lack of success is down to him.
Following the match, Ramos was questioned about Benitez’s comments but the defender didn’t want to respond.
"As captain I respect everyone but I focus on the present. It wouldn't be right to comment on what Benitez has said,” Ramos said.
However, the 29-year-old did take a subtle dig at his former manager by reaffirming his belief that Zidane is the perfect man in charge.
"There are times where you need a change of coach and the most ideal person was Zidane.”
Earlier in the night, Benitez had said that Perez is solely responsible for the fact Madrid have won just one La Liga title in seven years.
"When you talk about consistency it is the key word because to win the league you have to be consistent,” he told BT Sport.
“You have to fight against Barcelona and Barcelona has a style of football, a model of football and then Real Madrid is changing managers every year so you have to start again.
"That is the reason why Real Madrid has won one league title in the last seven, Atletico Madrid one and Barcelona five. Barcelona now has been in six cup finals in the last eight years.
Benitez added: "They’ve won more than double the trophies of Real Madrid in the time that the chairman is there, so I think it is because they are consistent and that is the key to win the league title.”
Perez has overseen 11 different bosses during his two spells at the club and Benitez believes he wasn’t given enough time at the Bernabeu.
“You have to do everything perfect. As soon as something is wrong or the chairman thinks that it's wrong then you're used to having problems,” Benitez revealed.
“I think that we were quite good, as I said before. I think that we could do really well but they were a little bit nervous and the fans were a little bit nervous and the chairman was a little bit nervous then they change the manager.”
Zidane has been in charge of Madrid for seven matches since taking over from Benitez and is still unbeaten, winning six and drawing once. His side have scored an impressive 25 goals in those matches and the players appear to be relishing the chance to perform for the Frenchman.