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Zidane: Ronaldo is simply the best

Ronaldo is the ‘best of his generation’, according to his Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane. (AFP)
LONDON: Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Lionel Messi. That is the view of none other than fellow all-time great Zinedine Zidane.
It is the one question to which everyone seems to have an answer, the peerless pair having dominated the past decade scoring goals and winning trophies by the bucketload.
But Zidane, who is also Ronaldo’s boss at Real Madrid, added his opinion to the thousands already out there, saying the Portuguese is the best player of his generation.
“He is the best by a long way,” the Frenchman told AFP.
Ronaldo had a stunning end to last season, scoring 10 times from the quarterfinals of the Champions League as Real won a first La Liga and European Cup double in 59 years.
However, Messi has already scored 15 times in all competitions for Barcelona this season and netted a stunning hat-trick against Ecuador earlier this month to ensure Argentina did not miss out on next year’s World Cup.
Ronaldo has failed to shine so far this campaign. He missed Real’s first four La Liga games through suspension, has managed just one goal in his past five matches and was wasteful once again in front of goal as Madrid eased past Eibar 3-0 on Sunday.
That does not bother his boss, however. “He has shown it many times. He is always there in the big games,” Zidane added.
Meanwhile Zidane also defended compatriot Karim Benzema after former England striker and TV presenter Gary Lineker described the Frenchman as “overrated.”
Lineker’s comments came as Benzema missed two huge chances as Real were held 1-1 at home by Tottenham Hotspur last week.
“He can have his opinion because he is on television a lot, but if you say to me Karim is overrated I don’t agree,” Zidane said.
“I enjoy watching him on the field.”
After Paulo Oliveira’s own goal and Marco Asensio’s strike put Madrid in command on Sunday, Benzema came off the bench to tee up Real’s third for Marcelo.
“Karim won’t score 60 goals a season, but he will score 25 or 30 and make 30-40,” Zidane said.
And that point was perfectly evidenced by Benzema’s defense splitting pass for Marcelo to fire into the far corner.
“I like players who know how to associate with their teammates,” continued Zidane.
“He didn’t score, but the move starts with him in midfield.
“It was a lovely move to see for anyone who likes football.”