Real Madrid head coach Rafael Benitez says “there is no debate” over whether or not Cristiano Ronaldo is the best footballer in the world.
The Portgual star, who scored five against Espanyol on Saturday to become Real’s top scorer in La Liga history, took his tally to eight in two matches with a hat-trick in Tuesday’s 4-0 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk.
Though Benitez has admitted in recent days that he cannot say for certain if Ronaldo is the best he has ever coached, he has no doubt that no player currently comes close to his phenomenal standards.
“There is no debate – he is the best in the world. I hold him in the highest regard,” he said.
“I’m surprised that so much attention is paid to what people say about Cristiano and not to what happens on the field.”
Benitez was delighted with the number of chances his side created against Mircea Lucescu’s side despite accepting that they were not at their best.
“It was a difficult game. They’re a good team in possession, they move between the lines and switch the play well, which makes it difficult to get control of the game,” added the former Liverpool boss.
“In spite of all that, and without playing brilliantly, we did create a lot of chances.”