Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid players have more empathy with Zidane
By Associated Press Sport
Last Updated: 18/01/16 12:15pm
Cristiano Ronaldo says Real Madrid's players get on better with Zinedine Zidane than his predecessor Rafa Benitez.
Zidane's dream start in charge continued with a 5-1 thrashing of Sporting Gijon on Sunday, with Ronaldo and Karim Benzema both scoring twice.
Benitez's reign ended after just 25 games amid rumours of dressing room discontent, and Ronaldo confirmed the former Liverpool manager didn't have the same regard among Madrid's star-studded squad as Zidane, who was a Ballon d'Or winner himself as a player.
"Zidane has been a boost for team. Truthfully, with some coaches you have more empathy than others," said Ronaldo.
"I did my job naturally under Benitez, I was serious and did the best for the club, independent of the person who is in charge of the team.
"I have never had a bad opinion of Rafa. He always did the best for Madrid, but he sees football in a different way from Zizou. Don't ask me why, but the players feel more empathy for Zidane."
However, the Portuguese denied the players had deliberately got Benitez the sack.
"Players don't do that kind of thing. At least I don't, independent of the empathy, you have to be serious in your job. The players are more enthused now with Zizou."
Benitez's appointment was an unpopular one from the start with the players unhappy at the sacking of his predecessor Carlo Ancelotti.
Zidane worked under the Italian as assistant manager as Madrid won their 10th European Cup in 2013/14 and Ronaldo seems similarities between Zidane and Ancelotti's coaching syles.
"His training sessions are similar. He is a calm person, but serious at his job and off the pitch he is fun," said Ronaldo.
"He has a connection with the players and I am very happy. It is an interesting time for me and the players. We are in good form and working hard."