Cristiano Ronaldo vs Zidane: Real Madrid legends faced off in free-kick contest

  • Rob Swan

Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane are two of the greatest footballers we’ve ever seen.

Many of us are incredibly fortunate that we were able to witness both players at their respective peaks.

Ronaldo has performed extraordinarily well at the highest level for the best part of two full decades now, while Zidane was arguably the world’s best player between 1998-2006.

The two legends worked together as player and coach at Real Madrid for two-and-a-half hugely successful years.

Together they won three Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups, two FIFA Club World Cups and one La Liga title.


Zidane replaced Rafa Benitez at the Bernabeu in January 2016 and reportedly went head-to-head with Ronaldo in a free-kick contest at Real Madrid’s training ground shortly after his arrival.

Spanish newspaper Marca, citing Sportyou, said Ronaldo was practicing his set-pieces when Zidane walked over and jokingly said: “Watch and learn how to take a free-kick”.

The pair then took part in a friendly challenge which saw both men take 10 free-kicks.


It was reported that Zidane, a free-kick maestro during his career, scored from “almost all of his attempts”. Presumably, that means at least eight or nine out of 10.

Ronaldo, on the other hand, only managed to find the back of the net twice.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner took it well, though. The report added that Ronaldo came close to picking his boss up and giving him a piggyback.


Zidane’s predecessor Benitez had also wanted Ronaldo to improve his free-kicks but the legendary forward was far less receptive to his former boss’s feedback.

Zidane immediately had the respect of the likes of Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale (although their relationship later fell apart!) because of his ability as a player and all that he achieved during his illustrious career.


That he could still produce magic on the training pitch certainly helped, too.

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