Speaking ahead of Real Madrida s opening Champions League fixture, manager Rafael Benitez claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo was the best player in the world at the moment but hesitated to proclaim him as the best player he has ever coached.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 5 goals against Espanyol to establish himself as Real Madrida s leading goal-scorer in the Spanish la Liga. Despite a slow start to the season, the Portuguese seems to have found his rhythm under his new manager as Real Madrid host Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League group stage.

I cana t say he is the best because I have coached some very good players

Rafa Benitez seems to be hesitant when it comes to praising the Portuguese superstar after taking over the reins from Carlo Ancelotti. As reported by AS, Benitez said that Ronaldo was the best player in the world at the moment but refused to acknowledge him as the best player to have ever played under him.

“Hea s excellent. He is one of the best and I cana t say he is the best because I have coached some very good players. But right now, hea s the best in the world.a

After overtaking Raula s record in the La Liga, comparisons have been made between Ronaldo and Real Madrid legends such as Alfredo Di Stefano and the former Spanish striker, Raul.

.

“I didna t get a chance to watch Di St fano in action but Ia m told that he was a competitive player a so was RaA?l and Cristiano is just like them.”

Speaking about Cristiano Ronaldoa s place in the squad alongside Gareth Bale, the manager emphasized that the duo has the freedom to move around as long as they pass the ball in order to make space for other players.

“They have freedom to move, but we are creating moves in which the players have to pass and move. We have spoken to both of them about the moves they make. We have mapped it out for them on paper so that they understand. Bale has pace and Cristiano drifts inside and the balance [in attack] with James, Isco and Benzema is designed to create problems for our rivals.a

With Real Madrid looking to turn over a new leaf under Rafa Benitez, it will be interesting to see if the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo continue to blossom under the cluba s new manager.