Zidane: Ronaldo understands he has to be rested

Cristiano Ronaldo understands that he will be left out of the Real Madrid line-up this season to recharge his batteries, insists Zinedine Zidane.

Ronaldo has been a fixture in the Madrid starting XI, regardless of the competition, in previous seasons, yet the Madrid skipper has been rested on five occasions already during this campaign.

The 31-year-old wasn’t even on the bench for Wednesday’s 3-0 Copa del Rey win over Sevilla – a move which may have angered him in the past.

But Madrid coach Zidane says Ronaldo now agrees with the rotation policy at the La Liga giants.

"Cristiano is a very intelligent player," Zidane said.

"I want to have him for the whole season. We have 20 games in the next 60 days. Sometimes he too has to rest.

“That is the way I see it, and he sees it the same. There is no problem.

“He always wants to play, but we speak about it and know what is best. We try and play with all the players we have, to aim to win everything in front of us.

"He is completely committed, even when he does not play.

“For example, before and after games he always comes into the dressing room and talks to all the players.

"Maybe outsiders see it less, but he has tremendous energy and transmits it to the others. That is important for the group."