After thumping Malmo FF 8-0 in the Champions league, Real Madrid return to the La Liga with a trip to Villarreal. On the eve of a crucial fixture for Benitez and his men, the Spaniard said he is aware of Villarreal’s threat and the importance of coming away with three points. The Madrid-born manager also admitted that his relationship with superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is in excellent condition, even if others might think the opposite.
Real Madrid are still five points adrift of Barcelona but have a game in hand. Benitez addressed the media in the press conference after overseeing the Whites’ final training session before the match.
Villarreal tough to beat
Benitez admitted Villarreal are a difficult to beat, but made his intentions very clear. Real Madrid will go to El Madrigal to take away all three points, and nothing less than that will be good enough.
“Villarreal are very tough, because they’re a really well-drilled side, but we’re after the three points and are out to leave our fans with plenty to shout about”, Benitez said at the Pre match press conference, as reported by the club’s official website.
“Villarreal will put everything the team have shown in recent games to the test. It’s difficult, but going there and getting the three points is a challenge and an incentive. I know Marcelino [Garc a Toral] well; he’s a friend of mine and a great coach.”
On his relationship with Ronaldo
Rumors of a spat between Ronaldo and Benitez have flew around ever since the former Liverpool manager became in charge of los blancos, and as he again steered clear of any such claims by suggesting that his relationship with Ronaldo is just like it should be.
“My relationship with the dressing rooom is very good, even if there are people who say the opposite. Working together closely day in, day out allows the players to appreciate what the coaching staff are doing. We’re getting to know each other and adapting to each other. That time spent together can only be benficial for the team.”
Three points pivotal for Real Madrid
The margin for error is negligible in la Liga and with Barcelona already five points clear of Real Madrid, three points at El Madrigal is a must for Benitez’s side if they have to keep pace with the Catalans.