Benítez: “Cristiano Ronaldo is Madrid’s Pau Gasol”
In his interview prior to this weekend’s league game against Granada, Rafael Benítez decided to laud his team’s most valuable player, Cristiano Ronaldo. The Spanish manager is certainly happy to see his pupil finding back his good old form and he can’t wait to see him returning to action this next Saturday at the Santiago Bernabéu, especially now that Real Madrid won’t be able to count with Gareth Bale, recently injured in mid-week, in the game against Shakhtar for the UEFA Champions League.
Benítez: “I’m not sure if we can talk about a more balanced team when we’re deprived of a player like Bale, especially since we didn’t concede a single goal when he was playing in the team. It’s true however that it will allow me to try a different approach to the next few games, by taking off one of the players in the wings and playing Ronaldo in a more central role upfront.”
Bale wasn’t the only Madrid player getting injured last Tuesday. Sergio Ramos had a shoulder wound and Raphael Varane complained about feeling pain in one of his knees. But while the team’s captain comeback should take at least a few weeks, Varane is expected to already be fit for this weekend’s fixture and partner up with Pepe in the centre of the defense. Any football betting tips being offered for this Saturdays’ home game against Granada should definitely have those injury news taken into consideration…
Benítez: “Varane has already trained normally in this morning’s practice session, so I’m confident he’ll be able to play tomorrow. We’ll have to decide that shortly before the game though, but in case it becomes necessary to do a few changes, I’m fully confident in every player in this squad to do well”, stated the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager.
As for Ronaldo and the new position he might be asked to play on while Bale is unavailable, Benítez assures he talks with the Portuguese star about that on a daily basis.
Benítez: “I talk to him every single day, about that and other tactical matters. He knows he has total freedom to more around as he wants upfront and then to help the team being balanced when we don’t have the possession.”
This past Thursday, the Spanish national basketball team made it to the European Championship final, after beating France, the hosts, by 80-75. The national hero for Spain in that game was the former LA Lakers athlete and now currently playing for the Chicago Bulls, Pau Gasol. Rafa Benítez couldn’t avoid commenting on that and even compared him to Cristiano Ronaldo.
Benítez: “I want to congratulate everyone in the Spanish national basketball team and now I obviously wish that they can also win the final! Cristiano Ronaldois Real Madrid‘s Pau Gasol. He’s our most important player and we all want him to help us winning titles. Gasol makes the difference in the court and that’s what we know Ronaldo does with us when he’s on the pitch”, commented the 55-year old manager.
Sources: marca.com / espn.com / goal.com / mirror.co.uk