Zinedine Zidane thinks Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Gareth Bale and Lionel Messi

The Real Madrid coach has offered an insight into where his allegiance lies 

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The Independent Football

Zinedine Zidane has given his clearest indication yet that he considers Cristiano Ronaldo to be the main man at Real Madrid ahead of Gareth Bale.

Since the Frenchman replaced Rafa Bentez as manager at the Bernabeu there has been debate and speculation over which of Real Madrid's two most expensive players Zidane considers most important to his plans. 

Ronaldo, the club's leading all-time goalscorer, has long been considered the star of the side but during Benitez's reign Bale began to emerge as the fulcrum of the team. That was a view solidified when Benitez described Ronaldo as "one of the best", a comment which drew much criticism in Spanish media at the time. 

Zidane, though, appears to favour Ronaldo, describing him as the best player in the world.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is the best," the three-time Fifa World Player of the Year told Mexican newspaper Record.

"People can say what they like about Cristiano Ronaldo, but in his heart he's a good person. Messi is the rival and that rivalry is great for the footballing spectacle, it's what the fans want to see."

Ronaldo has so far scored 19 goals in La Liga for Real Madrid this season compared to 13 for Bale. 

Zinedine Zidane 

Zidane, who replaced Benitez at the Bernabeu last month, admits he now has a greater understanding of the stress and pressure which comes with being Real coach.

"It's always the manager's fault if the team lose," he added in Record.


"But you have to accept that responsibility, with all the good and bad that comes with it.

"The main thing is getting my message across to the players. I only give them two or three instructions because they're extremely professional. I have a sensational group of players, I'm delighted with the work they're doing."