In an interview for DAZN, Cristiano Ronaldo explained the impact that current Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane had on his career. The Portuguese ace emphasized the role Zidane played in giving him confidence and providing him the keys to deliver for Los Blancos. “The confidence that a player needs doesn’t only come from the player himself, but also the people around him, the other players, the coach. You need to feel like you’re an important part of the group, and Zidane made me feel special,” he commented.
Zidane has faced criticism this preseason after Madrid’s struggles to find goals and their failure to clog holes defensively. Ronaldo's words can provide fans a glimpse into the perspective of the players on Zidane the coach: “Zidane helped me a lot. I already had a lot of respect for him, but working with him made me admire him all the more, because of what he’s like as a person, how he talks, how he led the team and how he treated me.”
“Zidane would say to me, ‘Cris, relax, go out and play your game, you are the one who’s going to make the difference.’ He was always honest, and that’s why I’ll always have real affection for him,” he concluded.
Zidane is now without his talisman and is now taking on, arguably, the biggest challenge of his coaching career — reconstructing the post-Ronaldo Real Madrid side. They key will be finding the right system and the right players for him to reposition his unwavering faith, a faith like he had for Cristiano.