‘Ronaldo’s competitive streak key to his greatness’

Madrid, July 23 (IANS) Real Madrid head coach Rafael Bentiez on Thursday defended the attitude of Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese star striker showed his anger in leaving a practice match during the side’s tour of Australia.

“He is a competitive footballer and that is the key. I think that is a positive question and not a defect. After working with Ronaldo, you can see how competitive he is and how much he wants to win,” Efe quoted Benitez as saying when asked about the incident.

“That is what makes him the best player in the world and I wish that all of the players had the same desire to compete and to win that he shows on a daily basis,” he added, heaping praise on the forward.

“I always try and get the best from all of my players and seeing how Cristiano works close up, you can see why he has won so many titles. He is clearly the best in the world.”

However, despite praising his star player, Benitez said his relationship with him “was the same as with the rest of the players”.

Real will fly to China in the coming days where they will play Italian outfits Inter Milan and AC Milan and the coach said they had put the disappointment of losing their opening friendly of the season (against AS Roma) behind them.

“They are working well and their fitness is improving,” he said, adding that he was certain that central defender Serio Ramos would stay despite interest from Manchester United.

The former Liverpool and Napoli manager said that recent signing, goalkeeper Kiko Casilla, would work for a few days with the squad before making his debut.

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