Coach Benitez plays down rumours of discontent at Real Madrid

Madrid, Oct 15 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez on Thursday played down rumours of bad feeling in the club’s dressing room and supposed bad relations between some player and the coach himself.

“I’m surprised at the number of stories which get invented,” Xinhua quoted Benitez as saying.

Benitez insisted he worked with “a very good dressing room… the relation between the players is good, it is relaxed and healthy”.

Benitez denied he had any problem with his squad saying he “greeted the players one by one”, and commenting he had sent good luck messages to all of them on international duty over the past 10 days.

“I have worked at more complicated dressing rooms than this… you can always have someone who’s had a bad day, but there is nothing exceptional here,” the 55-year-old insisted.

Two weeks ago saw Sergio Ramos make a pointed comment over Benitez’s substitutions in Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid after the coach had mentioned a mistake from the defender which had cost his side a penalty, but again the Real coach insisted all was well between the two.

“We have zero problems between us. He is the captain and he is a phenomenal player, he has to show it all of the time,” he said.

He also had praise for Cristiano Ronaldo, saying the Portugese striker was the only player guaranteed a place in the Madrid starting 11.

“I have already decided that if I am asked if Cristiano is the best player I have coached, I would say ‘yes’,” the former Liverpool, Inter Milan and Napoli coach commented.

Finally he also denied rumours of a feud between Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, after the latter’s agent had made a comment over the former “selling underwear”.

“There is no problem between Cristiano and Bale. Everything is magnified in Real Madrid, sometimes because of envy and sometimes to attack us and it surprises me,” explained Benitez.

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