Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Zidane: Benzema, Ronaldo give us peace of mind even without goals

SoccerNews in La Liga 6 Nov 2017

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Zinedine Zidane played down the importance of Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo’s respective struggles in front of goal, insisting that merely their presence gives Real Madrid “peace of mind”.

Madrid cruised to an easy 3-0 win over Las Palmas on Sunday, bouncing back from back-to-back defeats to Girona and Tottenham in LaLiga and the Champions League.

Neither Ronaldo nor Benzema were able to add to their Liga goal tallies of one apiece, however, with both enduring frustrating days in front of goal.

Ronaldo – who set up Isco for the third – hit the post and missed a couple of good chances, while Benzema appeared to be lacking confidence and was the target of jeers from some sections of the crowd.

Zidane is adamant that both make a difference just being on pitch, though, and the Frenchman is not aware of Benzema being jeered.

He told reporters: “I don’t know, I didn’t hear that. If you say so.

“At the end of the day, what we want to do is continue to work and do the right thing. We’re talking of Benzema and Cristiano and it’s true, I don’t know how many goals they have.

“They are the first to be unhappy, but the important thing is the work, what they do. We have to have peace of mind with that.

“You [the media] always think of negative things and I think positive. Cristiano has given the pass for the goal [of Isco] and I can tell you that he is very pleased with it.

“He is happy to give a goal and it was a beautiful goal. We know that he likes to score and he is happiest when scoring.

“But we believe that he will make a difference. He is not doing it now by scoring in the league, but he is in the Champions League and he also does other things.

“He is helpful to the team and in the end he will make a difference.”

Benzema and Ronaldo could again be joined by Gareth Bale after the international break, with Zidane expecting him to be ready for their next LaLiga game against Atletico Madrid.

“Now I intend to push Gareth because he is well,” Zidane said. “He has not been able to be with us because it lacks a little [sharpness], but we have 15 days to make him perfect.

“Then, we will see how we manage him. But the idea is for him to be ready after the break against Atletico.”

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