Zinedine Zidane had to step up to defend some of his players, including Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the FIFA Club World Cup final on Saturday
Five-time Ballon d-Or winner has been questioned from all sides with even Saturday’s opposition manager having a pop along with a certain Argentine, according to GOAL.
Los Blancos’ first-choice centre forward has been in poor form this season. Benzema has only scored twice in La Liga all season, while also struggling to make his mark on the game in the Abu Dhabi.
Wednesday night’s difficult semi-final against Al Jazira passed without the 30-year-old getting on the scoresheet and to rub salt in the wounds his replacement Gareth Bale scored the winner with his first touch, GOAL continues.
The media in Spain is not known for its forgiveness and long-term memory. Due to the missed chances, the French striker has been heavily criticised for not brining enough to the Real Madrid table.
“I don’t agree with the way he’s been criticised. What’s important for me is not only goals. Karim is a different player; he won’t score 50/60 goals, but he’s scored a lot of goals in our shirt. For me Karim is one of the best in this sense as a team player,” Zidane defended his striker.
But it wasn’t only Benzema who Zidane had to defend. Former player and current Gremio coach made comments on Cristiano Ronaldo’s technique and claimed he was a better player than the Portuguese recorder.
“He is a monster, a great player, but he works hard on his strength and he doesn’t have much technique,” he said on ESPN Brasil’s Bola da Vez.
The French manager had a very diplomatic answer for this matter, but he simply couldn’t agree with the Brazilian. What the two players have achieved simply cannot be compared.