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Rafa Benitez: “I never told Cristiano how to shoot free-kicks”

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The Spanish coach spoke to MARCA and debunked some myths surrounding his time at the club

FBL-AUS-ESP-REAL MADRID-CUP Photo credit should read PAUL CROCK/AFP via Getty Images

Rafa Benitez, the Spanish tactician best known for guiding Liverpool to a historic Champions League triumph in Istanbul, currently works in China as coach of Dalian Professional. Benitez recently took some time out to chat with Spanish publication, MARCA, and debunked some of the myths surrounding his 6 month coaching tenure of Real Madrid in the 2015/2016 season.

One such rumor, was the notion that Rafa had tried to teach Cristiano Ronaldo how to take better free-kicks. “It’s a lie. At no time did I do that. The only time we discussed free kicks was in Australia. I told him we analysed how he took them at Manchester United. At no time did I tell him how to take them,” Benitez affirmed.

Without being solicited, Benitez also went on to provide clarity on the rumor that he asked Luka Modric to stop passing the ball with the outside of his foot. “I also did not tell Luka Modric to stop passing with the outside of his foot. All I told him was that when there is a simple pass with the inside of the foot, he had to use the inside of his foot because it is easier for his teammate. I also used the outside of my boot when I played, but for 10-15 meter passes. It’s easy to spread lies,” he explained.

Despite only managing the club for 6 months, Benitez does still have some fingerprints on the current squad. Casemiro and Lucas Vazquez were both brought back by Benitez in the summer of 2015 and are both crucial pieces to Zidane’s team. Despite the abrupt and painful exit, Rafa Benitez still considers himself a Madridista.