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Zidane: I admire Cristiano Ronaldo

Zinedine Zidane has voiced his admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of Real Madrid’s trip to Granada on Sunday.

The Portugal international, who turned 31 on Friday, has netted five goals in four appearances since Zidane replaced Rafael Benitez at the Santiago Bernabeu helm and hailed the Frenchman after Madrid demolished Espanyol 6-0 last week.

Zidane has now been equally appreciative of Ronaldo, praising the attacker’s desire to always want more and never be satisfied with his achievements.

“I feel a certain admiration for Cristiano,” he said.

“I admire him for his goals and for everything he has achieved. I like his ambition. He is never satisfied with what he has done, he always wants more.

“He is a super important player for me, for the team and for the fans.

“I retired at the age of 34, but Cristiano will play on longer. It’s not that I did not look after myself, but he takes a lot of care of his own body and is a beast physically.”

Madrid will still be without Gareth Bale when they take on Granada due to a calf injury and Zidane has stressed they will not rush the Welshman back into action.

“We have decided to take things easy for a bit,” he added.

“He is getting better, but he is not fully recovered yet.”

The Bernabeu side sit third in the table heading into Sunday’s encounter, trailing leaders Barcelona by four points, while the Catalans have a game in hand, too.

Nevertheless, Zidane refuses to throw in the towel just yet.

“The players all know we can still win the league,” he stressed.

“We all know what the situation is like and that it will be difficult, but we will do everything we can.”

Sat 6 Feb, 2016
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