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Ronaldo wants Zidane to stay at Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo has backed Zinedine Zidane to continue as head coach at Real Madrid beyond this season.

The former France international replaced Rafael Benitez in January and has helped to sustain their push for a Liga and Champions League double heading into the final month of the campaign.

Speculation persists that Zidane could depart the club in June, however, with the 43-year-old unable to give any guarantees over his future when questioned on rumours in March.

Ronaldo has spoken in the past of how the Madrid squad have felt more at ease under Zidane than Benitez and he has called for the coach to be given more time at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“I think we feel more valued with Zidane,” he told Madrid’s official website. “We feel his affection, we know it’s a process of adapting but things have flowed very quickly and I’m very happy for him.

“I already admired him as a player and now as a coach for his manner and his way of selecting the players. He’s a coach who I would like to continue at Real Madrid.”

Ronaldo returned to training on Sunday after missing Madrid’s Champions League semi-final first-leg draw with Manchester City, and the 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad.

The Portugal star is vying to be fit for City’s visit to the capital on Wednesday but has warned that they must not underestimate Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

“If Manchester City are in the semi-finals, it’s because they’re an excellent team,” he said. “Knocking out Paris Saint-Germain is no easy task, but they managed it. They are a team who have very few defects.”

Ronaldo hit a hat-trick to secure Madrid’s quarter-final win over Wolfsburg, despite them having been beaten 2-0 in the first leg in Germany.

The ex-Manchester United forward has described that victory as “a magical moment” and hopes Madrid will be inspired to go all the way and win the trophy they last lifted two years ago.

“To win it with Real Madrid was a beautiful, spectacular feeling, because the Champions League is always a special competition and to win it in Lisbon, in front of the Portuguese, was also special,” he added.

“We had to win [against Wolfsburg] by three goals and I scored the three, so it was a special night. We had to have a perfect night and that’s what happened – not only for my goals, but I think for everything. I think the team did well.

“Also, our fans played a very important role in the comeback. It was a magical moment.”

Sun 1 May, 2016
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