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Ronaldo Comments on Zinedine Zidane, James Rodriguez, Real Madrid and More

Three-time FIFA player of the year Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima talks about his new role as part owner of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers during a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, in Hollywood, Fla. Ronaldo, also said, he will attempt to make a playing comeback this spring with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the second-tier North American Soccer League.(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
Alan Diaz/Associated Press
Stuart NewmanFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 13, 2017

Former Real Madrid sensation Ronaldo said new manager Zinedine Zidane is the best thing that could have happened to the club and told out-of-favour midfielder James Rodriguez he needs to put in hard work if he's to return to his best, per Arthur Guisasola of AS.

Colombian Galactico James has been in several reported bust-ups with his new boss, and according to Spanish outlet Sport, Zidane is concerned about James’ lifestyle and is giving him very little playing time as a result (via Goal).

Yet Ronaldo believes Zidane will handle the situation well, and he also hopes James can return to the peak of his powers:

Whatever the case, if something has happened [between Zidane and James] I’m sure Zidane will know how to handle the situation. He’s a very straightforward guy and I doubt there’ll be any problems. That’s the exact reason I never wanted to become a manager. It’s very difficult to control a squad of 25 players. I wouldn’t be able to do that. He needs to keep working. I wish him luck and hopefully he can recapture his past form because that would help Real Madrid a lot.

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 30:  James Rodriguez of Real Madrid CF looks on during the Real Madrid CF vs Real Sociedad as part of the Liga BBVA 2015-2016 at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on December 30, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Power S
Power Sport Images/Getty Images

Zidane kicked off his tenure as Los Blancos boss by overseeing demolitions of both Deportivo La Coruna and Sporting Gijon at the Bernabeu, scoring 10 goals and conceding one.

And Ronaldo said Real fans may have to get used to such success, as he expects his former team-mate to do an excellent job:

I’m sure Zizou will do a great job, just as he did as a player. I’ve been following his progress ever since he became a manager and I visited him a couple of times at Valdebebas. I’m certain he’s ready for the challenge and I wish him all the best. As soon as I get a chance I’ll go watch one of the team’s games.

JAE C. HONG/Associated Press

Despite Zidane’s fabulous start to life in the Real Madrid hot seat, they sit four points adrift of neighbours Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga and two points behind title favourites Barcelona, who have a game in hand.

However, Ronaldo fully expects his former employers to be fighting for silverware come the end of the campaign, saying: “Real Madrid always win titles so I’m sure the team will be able to turn things around."

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 17:  Zinedine Zidane manager of Real Madrid looks on prior to the start of the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Sporting Gijon at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 17, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Real Madrid travel to struggling Real Betis on Sunday looking to make it three Liga wins on the bounce, with James likely to start in place of the injured Gareth Bale.

Zidane could, however, name Jese Rodriguez in his starting XI, which could spark further rumours on the Colombian’s exit.

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